The Path of Four Bodies – Baba Purnanand Bharati

Baba Purnanand Bharati

How to go through the journey of Four Bodies – Part 1

It is possible that people don’t know about this journey at all and that all the bodies have their own qualities and nature. To awaken the bodies means to enter them. Soon as the first body is purified you enter the next body. Bodies wake up systematically in a sequence, they are joined together. All bodies get over one by one, and then they all collapse.

  1. Isthool Sharir

First is the isthool sharir (gross body), it will be awakened by hatha yogapranayama and yoga. A full-forced hatha yoga will get you entry to the first body. Second body is the bhava sharir, it is awakened by mantra yoga. The day your wakefulness towards the mantra is so absolute that it is mastered, you’ll enter the second body. The third body is sookshma sharir, one cannot enter this body without the bhakti yoga or devotion, when you live the full dimension of devotion with the remembrance of the supreme, filling up the supreme in each breath, then the whole culmination of devotion rises in you and you enter the third body. The Fourth body is manas sharir, it is awakened with raj yoga. It is a way of being a witness sakshi.

Work has to be done on the First body because of the way it is now, it needs to be made free from lethargy. Sleep and eating will be reduced as a result. If one is fond of too much eating, then he is below the first body, which is an animal body. You are roaming with the reservoir of sleeping energy, you have become dense and are not transparent. With the Hatha Yoga, whole of hidden energy will burst out and you’ll be out of the gravity, denseness will be gone and fluidity will be there, in this fluidity will occur mantra yoga.

Dynamic, Kundalini and Nadabrahma meditations come under hatha yoga, if these meditations done 4-6-8 months vigorously or if for a year or two, one can enter the first body and for the first time will experience the inner self not the outwardly self.

  1. Bhava Sharir
    Everyone has to go through the Mantra yoga, today too there is a lot of importance of the mantra. Chant anything – Ram or Om or Om Namah Shivaye or Om Osho Namaye or Osho or your own name, but chant with such concentration, wakefulness and understanding that you become the mantra yourself. Chanting om mantra is the best because Om is a complete word, this word is rounded and doesn’t have corners and doesn’t prick. Ram is also good (not the Dashratha’s Ram) Practicing mantra will let you have control over the speech, you’ll understand the mystery of your speech.
  1. Sookshma Sharir
    Third body is awakened with devotion or Bhakti Yoga, this phase will definitely arrive, and you will become a Meera. Devotion is the result of pure sentiments. Devotion makes you the Supreme’s person, Supreme will accept you. If you have not lived the devotion, you cannot practice the witnessing sakshi. If the devotion is pure, witness will occur. The thoughts will be pure in witnessing.
  1. Manas Sharir
    Fourth body is awakened with raj yoga. In the raj yoga, you have to be a witness every moment, witness to every happening, there is nothing else here except for witnessing and it’ll happen on its own. Witnessing doesn’t occur to anyone because the previous three levels are bad and the unconscious catches you so quickly that you cannot become witness to thoughts, emotions or anything. If all three levels of yours are not awakened, how will you go for the journey to the fourth one? You will turn schizophrenic, you’ll fall sick, whoever tries practice for the fourth or the fifth’s body directly will become neurotic.

For the fifth body, you don’t have to do anything, it becomes the body of the supreme, the body of the soul atmik. If this journey starts, there is no other journey left after this because now you are not there. You are only four bodies, in the fifth one you are finished, the ego completely departs.

You have to go through the four bodies, the ego will be crystallized only with this sequential journey. The practice has to start from the first body, where you are now.
After Hatha Yoga, the mantra will come to you. It will be revealed to you but the most difficult is to enter the first body, people remain standing out of it.

If the hatha yoga is completed you’ll definitely enter the mantra yoga because hatha yoga will throw you into the mantra yoga. When mantra awakens, there will occur such a devotion within you that you’ll want to worship pebbles and stones, will want to touch everyone’s feet. The ego that satisfies will become the nature of the soul, it will dissolve into the witness. People begin wakefulness hosh from here in the fourth body.

If any delusion has set in about your practice then reverse the practice, go back to the first step, complete it to move to the next bodies. I’m pointing to all the friends if the practice has not been fruitful then there is a mistake, and the mistake is that the beginning has not been proper. Everyone has to check within – who needs to start with what body and then start it, i have told the Sutras and the way is this. It is not possible that the practice does not fructify when one has walked through the sequence, it will, it is my guaranty.

How to know what body we are in? – Part 2

It is the quality and the nature of the bodies – If you have come back into the first body, there is lethargy. As it purifies, lethargy will be reduced, sleep and hunger will go down. If you are in the second body, which is a body of mind, here is the distortion of the sentiments, you know it, the crooked thoughts like – killing someone, robbing someone, having sly intentions. Distorted sentiments means to ‘take away than to give’. If this distortion is persistent then your second body has not been purified. Only mantra can purify it. Now you fall back and will practice more for the first body to go to the second body, going up and down like this will go on. When you’ll be crystallized in the first one then only you’ll be free from it, and then you won’t have to come back to it.

Once free from the second body you won’t need the Mantra practice again, free from third body, devotion will be over, no need of any devotional sentiment. In fourth the witnessing will take birth and in the fifth, the soul will be born in you.

Hatha yoga will throw away all the lethargy because lethargy and religion have got nothing do with each other, a lethargic person cannot be on a religious journey. Then mind is very fickle, mind carries a lot of distortions, which goes away with the mantra yoga because all the fickleness will be drunk by the mantra. Thoughts will be stopped, they all will be collected and absorbed in the mantra. And you will have full control over your speech.

All this will go on naturally, nature works up till the fourth body. Sometimes accidentally too people reach the fourth body, after meditation for four days if the journey has been over for the last bodies. The journey of the last life carries only up till fourth body. The fifth body has no such play of the last birth, its practice will only be in the present life. If in this life all your four bodies are purified, if the Raj Yoga has fructified, the old journey will be added and continued in this life. If its the journey of the fifth body then this birth will be the last one, you won’t take a birth again. If there still a journey, it will be in an esoteric way, where there is no need to take up a body.

People become deities Devatas, and live on their deity’s plane Dev yoni. Their journey goes on by helping many people and they are full of compassion. For all of us also there is continued support from some or the other esoteric plane, we cannot do it alone.

On the journey for the fifth body, up till fourth the nature will create obstacles. After fifth all obstacles will be removed because now you have been caught by some esoteric support. Now whatever happens here you won’t be scared, wherever you fall, you’ll rise. This is the state in the fifth body.

After this nothing can be talked about because there are many esoteric talks.

Our understanding cannot go beyond fourth body, the Manas Sharir. There are reasons for that, it is most difficult that someone leaves the first platform, generally the whole life is spent and gets over at the very first platform. There is no progress beyond the gross body. If one is not a practitioner, the understanding to go beyond the gross body won’t be born in him. In the practice we understand the gross body and enter into it. The difference between a practice and non-practice is that when there is any pain one experiences the other body otherwise not, but a practitioner experiences another body without any pain or problem arising.

What is the crisis of the questioner’s here is crisis of everyone, actually the journey to the fourth body remains as it is. it is not that you have gone above any of the bodies, these are four levels of only one body, like a building has four floors. And you have believed the fourth floor to be the last one, but there is a journey beyond it. If any practitioner returns in the practice means he hasn’t gone beyond the fourth body.

First he needs to accept that he goes to the fourth floor and its roots are in the first floor because the building is one, so he goes to the fourth floor and comes back to the first one. This works on the grace, when you are on the first, you get the grace of second and so on, when on fourth you get grace of fifth, when the practitioner cannot understand this and thinks he has reached and there is no further destination. The day this is felt he will fall down because the journey is still on.

If feels there is nothing left to cover and this is fourth and the last destination, so you’ll have to come down from the fourth because you are in the momentum still.

Question : Why does the energy move in circles?

Baba: The manner of practice is that the steps below have to be broken, if you have lived the first body properly, it should be finished, because you have lived it, used it and now it got captivated (taken over) by the next body, then you have lived the second and second got captivated by the third and so on, when this happens then what remains to go back to, in circles? If you are going round in circles it means that you are still left with all four bodies, you go from first to fourth and from fourth to first, your energy is moving in circles otherwise the energy does not move like this.

There is a lack of wakefulness, dedication and faith, there is a lack of practice. One has to look at the first body in a complete wakefulness. Journey from the first to fourth body happens naturally also. But man falls off only when he has not wound up all the bodies. When you are stable in the fifth all these bodies will be wrapped up.

In five bodies there are actually only four, fifth is something else, it is a union of these four. In the fifth body the practitioner is steady, he develops compassion, amiability, love and many other qualities will take birth. Why will he go down now? He will go on to compassion. He will be full of love for the entire cosmos, from every child to ant to mountains. Now the course of his energy will be in a different flow.

Up till fourth body, no one has a center, you are falling rising and falling. When all four bodies rise and dissolve into the fifth body then for the first one finds a center. Then you are crystallized in yourself, and there you cannot experience yourself as a person, no matter how hard the world tries you don’t perceive yourself to be a person because there is no notion to be a person is left anymore. There is only one notion, the notion of the totality. You become the whole samashti, not a person. Then there are journeys of the whole, there is a play of the cosmos after the fifth body – the cosmic body brahma kaya and then the nothingness shunyata.

The role of ego ahankaar in the practice – Part 3

This is the story of many practitioners. If this journey is not carried out in a well-organized way, being on fourth body they feel as if they have reached the sixth or fifth, now they come down, go up and then come down, this irony remains with such practitioners.

There is a huge role of ego (ahankaar) here, an amazing role. A worldly person doesn’t have such a strong ego, really a worldly person has no ego at all. The person who hasn’t touched the fourth body, ego hasn’t touched him only. Your ego lives in many pieces in the worldly life, there is neither ego nor determination in the world. This kind of ego is ready to bow down anywhere, ready to compromise anywhere, anyone can lure your ego for a little money. Is this called an ego? This is no ego, no one is an egoist here and I’ll excuse a worldly person for it. Position, wealth etc. is a cheap ego.

A real egoist is a saint, why is he an egoist, because there can be no journey without an ego. What happens with a saint is the ego begins to experience contentment, because it starts to become integrated. A worldly person’s ego is scanty and scattered. Try and understand what I’m saying here, the ego for the first time births in a saint.
Ego is not a bad thing, it is the ego only that we need to unify, integrate.

In the world, the one who is earning wealth, one in politics, one for a designation, all are trying to crystallize in the ego, get integrated in it, but even after a lot of efforts this doesn’t happen to the people in the worldly quests, ego doesn’t get crystallized, it happens to a very few men but then a derangement starts to set in. Don’t understand it wrongly.

Ego gets crystallized in a practitioner, the journey is not possible without the ego. It is only the ego that does the journey, I practice, and I want to know the supreme, here who is this ‘I’, who wants to know the supreme, wants to gain the supreme?

If you have ever possessed anything, then that only thing is the ego, and it is shallow, so you are suffering its pain because when ego splits, it cannot get the full fun of itself in the pieces. It is in pieces, broken, ready to bow, ready to be sold, ready to diminish, this kind of ego does not get contented.

A saint’s ago is amazingly contented and what is this contentment about? When a saint with his continuous practice reaches the fifth body, internally he starts to feel – ‘I’m a god, I’m everything”. Unless the ego can say this that ‘it is a god’, it cannot be contented. Really it has been a big play (leela), been a big journey for the ego – in the journey of the four bodies, you have given away the first body then second and when given away the fourth body a little bit, you get the fifth body in the form of ego as ‘self’ asmitaa.

But there is a tough wall in between the fourth and the fifth body. It is a wall of the ego itself. From here the dissolution will begin. The energy works up till here, energy works only as far as there is no contentment of the ego. Ego vanishes as the gap of the energy stops – this rise and fall of the energy, from first to fourth body and reverse, this is how the journey of the ego goes, all the superficial play of the ego, it keeps producing the energy in order to satisfy itself.

The integration occurs in the fifth body. In the fifth body the ego has to be crystallized, consolidate. The practitioner feels that he has reached because it is the ego that has to reach, the ego feels the contentment. In the beginning of the fifth body, there is an amazing contentment, which can be its barrier too. The journey halts for many practitioners, it takes many lifetimes for further journey. It requires a grace of Guru and the second important thing that it requires is ‘understanding’.

Now there is no game of the energy in you, rise and fall of the energy becomes a kiddish stuff, now there is nothing except for dying. When anything arrives at its full destiny it begins to be erased. This is the law of this universe; either you are into the process of building up or fading away, when the building process is over, you get into the process of fading away.

If you live with utter wakefulness, the ego builds up as far it can, will reach the role it can. There the ego experiences that it needs nothing, as if it is contented, it is out of everything but it itself is sitting still.

Here the practitioner needs to be very cautious because his ego is crystallized and others have shallow egos, others will be attracted, they will love to hear from the practitioner because they get some contentment out of people with crystallized ego, 99% do not understand this and their marketing starts off, they get into talking out. They fail to break the wall between the fourth and the fifth body. This wall is so intense that breaking is almost a death. The death of ego feels like you are going on committing suicide. The ego has to die and it has been the ego that has bought you up till here, it has made you integrated, reached you a state. The journey now has bought you as far as it could. Now after this, it is the ego that has to disappear. It can disappear.

Now the practitioner has to get into seclusion, talk to no one, no second person should know, it’s a very secret affair. If such a state has built up for someone, he should get away from the people, people will catch you, will flatter you, will get you trapped and can bring you down into the hell. This is the game of nature, it is such a beautiful state and there is a trap here too. Nature traps you in a very sweet way, it will get you to be worshiped and you feel that you have arrived. All is the game of the ego, you have crystallized it so much with the practice that you begin to in-cash it. Here the practitioner will fall, rise and fall again, will experience hell and heaven 2-4 times in a day, but the ego is crystallized enough that even after falling, it won’t stay there, he’ll rise and come back to the same place.

In a saint the same ego gets intensified, gets crystallized and the same ego when erased within you, becomes the soul. The ego departs, melts and the soul will manifest. So long you take the juice out of the ego, the soul keeps sleeping in it. It’s not anything different, believe ego is a sleeping soul, not any other thing. That’s why it has so much power in it. When it starts to crystallize, the man gets specific vibrations around him, the aura abhamandal changes. The ego crystallizes for a worldly man too, but there remains a demand in a worldly man’s ego, so that ego is impotent. But an abstainer sanyasi is an ultimate egoist, it sparkles in their eyes and it should sparkle because their ego has crystallized so much that no one can defer from what they say.

Stronger the practice more the rise in intensity, this intensity has its own beauty. If there is no intensity, there will be no jump, when anything that comes into its completeness, starts to erase. This is natural.

Those who are experiencing rise and fall in the practice, they need to be very watchful. If they collect even four followers for themselves, the followers can spoil the whole life-work for a practitioner. The soul is nourishing like being in the womb. You have to walk very carefully in the ego, like a pregnant woman walks. You need to be alert completely towards yourself, towards your ‘I’. Now your ‘I’ is not an ordinary ‘I”, it is very strong, and you should not have any association with it. Whenever ‘I’ appears you must stand away from it completely, do not take juice out of it and here the ‘I’ is most juicy, because in journeys of four bodies in many lifetimes it has turned absolute now, after millions of years. This can be a fortune and misfortune both.

Once the practitioner crosses the 5th body, he is not there anymore, there is only the soul and the soul gets on to the journey to supreme, it fades away and dissolves into the supreme. Here, there is a thick wall of void shunaya, not material but an incredible wall.

-Baba Purnanand Bharati

Translation from a Hindi Discourse on Baba’s Telegram group

Living in Consciousness

Consciousness has been at the center of my life for almost 50 years, as it has been for so many of us. But, I am a practical sort of guy and so am not very interested in the conceptual “consciousness.” On the contrary, the consciousness that I am interested in is the “being consciousness.” There are many neo-advaita teachers around who tell us that we are always consciousness. And, since we are always awareness, consciousness, there is nothing to be done. Osho is much more compassionate. He too tells us that we are already Buddhas but he also reminds us that the difference between us and him is that he is aware of his Buddhahood. He is experiencing his Buddhahood and we are unawake to its splendor.

In his compassion, he introduced 112 meditation techniques. He created active meditations to prepare the ground for meditation to take root and, he distilled all meditation techniques down to the key element of witnessing.

For me personally, I have found that the best way to become aware—to awaken the witness—is to begin by being aware of my unconsciousness, my unawareness, my dreaming mind.

Most every morning I wake up around 3:30 a.m., meaning at around that time I become aware that I am no longer sleeping. Immediately I begin to look at the activity of the mind, the tail end of the dreaming cycle. I find that it is this seeing the unconscious that enables becoming more conscious or we could say less unconscious.

As I continue lying in the bed, looking directly at the tail of the dream, this awakeningness becomes more pronounced. I find this to be the best time to get up and sit in meditation.

This sitting in meditation is more of the same but now I am sitting erect and perhaps more attuned to the watching.

At first while I am watching I catch thought streams, some thought about this or that, but as I watch without grasping the thought and without rejecting the thought but just looking directly at the movement of thought, it becomes less defined, more opaque.

At this point, it is the energy of the mind that is being seen rather than individual thoughts. At the same time, I am now aware of the watching itself rather than that which is being seen. With my awareness of the watchingness, the previous objects of consciousness begin to slip out of view.

 

This is not a permanent situation.  At some point some thought appears and either I am dragged off until I remember again or I am awake enough to catch it at the beginning and again without grasping or rejecting there is the remembrance of watching and the watched subsides.

I find that the unconscious stream is in an inverse relationship to how conscious I am in that moment. The more conscious, the less of the stream. The less conscious, the more present the stream. So, it is by seeing my unconscious that I become more conscious.

My understanding of Ramana Maharshi’s method of inquiry is a thought appears, one inquires to whom does the thought appear and the answer is to me. Then one inquires more deeply “Who am I?” I see that as another way of saying what I described above.

Osho’s is even simpler, it is watching, witnessing. Watching without judgement, without jumping onto the back of the thought and without pushing away in rejection. Just watching and as we watch without reaction the other steps that I described above happen naturally. As thought becomes less, I automatically become aware of my self, provided that I haven’t fallen asleep.

“Meditation starts by being separate from the mind, by being a witness. That is the only way of separating yourself from anything. If you are looking at the light, naturally one thing is certain, you are not the light, you are the one who is looking at it. If you are watching the flowers, one thing is certain, you are not the flower, you are the watcher. Watching is the key of meditation:

Watch your mind.

Don’t do anything—no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of God—just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation. As you watch, slowly, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware.

As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes a flame of awakening. This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing—without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind.”

-Osho, from The Invitation, Discourse 21

So, this has been my experience. By understanding and seeing my un-consciousness, un-consciousness is transformed into consciousness, from unconsciousness to consciousness. This is how I come out of mind. This is not enlightenment; it is an awakening before enlightenment. It is nothing special and we are all capable of coming out of mind. It is just a question of seeing the identification with what we are Not that we discover that which we Are.

Along the way, a couple of points have become clear and perhaps they could be helpful for someone else.

Number one and this is of course obvious but nevertheless important to state. In order for the transformation of consciousness to take place, we have to look directly at the mind. It is not enough to know about meditation, we have to meditate. We have to get to know intimately how we perpetuate unawareness. We have to meditate, did I already say that. We have to meditate.

 

A second point that one day became clear is, we are not to do anything with the mind, or any content of consciousness. Transformation happens but not by anything we do. Our job is to become conscious and again we do that by watching our unconscious. It is through watching the unconscious that the energy becomes conscious. I used to feel that it was the content that was important in the watching. Somewhere along the way a shift happened so that it is the watcher that is of importance not what is being watched. We watch our unconsciousness simply to become conscious.

And thirdly, it is by watching without reacting that we begin to become aware of being conscious, of awareness itself, not as an object but as a living, existential, experiencing.

Finally, these awakenings, this watchfulness that arises in meditation, has to be taken into daily life.  With this watchingness, there are more moments of action and fewer of reaction, but when reaction appears, it is watched without judgment just like the watching of thought. And, it is here in this daily life that the watchingness is crystalized into Being conscious. And that truly is a splendor.

-purushottama

This has been published in the Viha Connection Magazine, March/April 2019, Volume XXX II-Two and also in Osho News.

 

 

 

Become a Blissful Buddha – Osho

[A visitor is hesitant to take sannyas: I keep hearing you talk how your old self dies when you become a sannyasin…]

But a new self is born! And the old you have known already, so what is the point of keeping it? You have lived it, you have experienced it. It has no more any significance; going on living it will be just repetition. You should be able to die every moment so that the new becomes possible; then only do you live. That is not a difficulty! And what is there to cling to in the old? The old means that which is gone, which exists only in your memory and is nowhere else, which is no more a reality, is not part of existence; there is no point in it. And if you are too burdened with it and too attached to it, it will not allow you to live this moment. It will interfere, it will take you backwards.

It is as if you are driving a car and you go on looking in the rear view mirror; the car is going ahead and you are looking in the rear view mirror, out the back, at the road that is gone. You are in danger, because you have to look ahead! It is good that drivers don’t follow this rule, otherwise there will be only accidents and nothing else. But people follow this rule in their lives, that’s why life is full of accidents and nothing else. People move forwards and look backwards.

If god wanted you to look backward he would have given you eyes at the back (laughter) but he has not done that. He wants you to remain looking ahead, towards the new. Say good-bye to the old! You are already sannyasin… unnecessarily creating trouble. Become a sannyasin. Close your eyes… close your eyes!

Look! – You have died to the past, there is no problem.

Anand means bliss, Amido is the Japanese name for Buddha. The Sanskrit name is Amitabh; it means infinite light, light and light and light. The name moved from India to Tibet, from Tibet to China, from China to Korea, from Korea to Japan, and this much change has happened: it has become Amido. But it is a beautiful change: it has become more soft, more round, more feminine. Amitabh looks more masculine, Amido looks more feminine: and Buddha is a feminine personality.

So become a blissful Buddha!

And it is just the idea that the past is valuable which creates the problem. The past is not valuable; the value is in the present. Out of the present the future is born. And we should not burden the present too much with the past, we should allow the present to have its own space. That’s all that I mean by dying to the past and being born to the new.

You can move easily; I don’t see that there is much of a problem in it. Just a decision on your part and you will become new.

-Osho

From Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast, Chapter 19, February 19, 1978

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Don’t Fight the River

The first indication that my life was about to change was the engine in my Cadillac El Dorado blowing up in Shreveport, Louisiana. I was at the end of a road trip taking orders for waterbed products. I took a bus back to Kansas City.

The second was when I learned that while away, my friend Charlie, my parakeet, had been killed by the cat that belonged to my friends who were house-sitting.

Charlie was a real character and he used to fly out of his always-open cage and land on my nose to wake me up in the morning. That’s what did him in. Charlie had been given to me by Scottie. Scottie was my oldest friend, not that I had known him the longest, but he was over 60. I was in my early twenties. He had named Charlie after Charlie Parker, a personal friend of his. Scottie was into Jesus, Jazz, going to the horse races, and smoking pot.

The final straw, however, was that my apartment was broken into. The thieves took my stereo and speakers but very fortunately left my album collection. I could either fight or let-go and go with the stream. I decided on the latter and endeavored to get ahead of the curve.

Soon, everything that had any value, which wasn’t much, really, had been sold. It mostly consisted of the records and two Chinese rugs. The money was going to Europe with me. I was leaving behind my interest in a business that I had built up over the past two years. I wasn’t even going to tell the other principals involved; they could have what was left. I was concerned that I might be persuaded to change my mind.

We had been applying for an SBA (Small Business Administration) loan in order to take our waterbed frame manufacturing business to the next level. We were getting orders, I had brought back plenty, but we needed capital in order to produce at a level that we made money on our sales. When the SBA loan fell through, I knew that meant we would have to drop back and punt. But I was burnt out. I had had a nervous breakdown at 21. I was drinking 10—12 cups of coffee a day and smoking three packs of cigarettes. If this was life, I wasn’t interested. I was ready to chuck it all in and go to Europe with whatever cash I could assemble and see what happens.

Six hundred dollars is what I would be landing in Luxembourg with after buying a cheap Icelandic Air flight. The last ride I got, hitchhiking to New York was with the equipment truck for the rock band Seals and Crofts. Here was the first sign of what lay ahead. Seals and Crofts were into Baha’i and the driver of the van was a devotee of the young Guru Maharaji.

Soon, I was lying in the grass on the side of the road waiting for the sound of a car so I could jump up and stick out my thumb. The destination for the day was not known only the direction; in the meantime I was feeling the ground beneath my back, smelling the green grass and listening to the sounds of the birds flying nearby. I was reminded of Saint Francis.
Here, in stark contrast, was the difference between becoming and being.

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.

Kopan and Kathmandu

It was the most amazing New Year ever, crossing into Nepal in a bullock cart at sunrise. The sky was ablaze, the haze and dust in the air heightened the reds and oranges of the sun. It was New Year’s Day, 1976, sure to be a super year, and as it turned out, it was.

During that last term in Madagascar I heard from my friend Peter. He was now in Nepal studying Tibetan Buddhism with Lama Yeshe at the Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu. Randy Dodge, who was still living at the house, was attracted to going to India and Nepal. He had been practicing Yoga for several years and was also interested in Buddhism. I was interested in Nepal but somehow fearful of India. I knew deep down that it could grab me and not let me go. By this time, Voahangy had gone to Brussels to join her U.N. boyfriend. Rickey was making arrangements to go to university in France. Randy and I were busy changing Malagasy francs into U.S. dollars with the Indian money changers and making preparations for our trip to the sub-continent.

Randy and I had discovered that there was an Indian passenger ship that traveled from Mauritius to Bombay and so made plans to go to Mauritius and leave for India from there. I said goodbye to my home for two years and a people that will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Thirty-three years after first arriving in Madagascar, I finally made a trip back with my wife, Amido in 2006. She loves the place as much as I do. Many things looked the same, although Tana was a bit of a shock. In 1975, the population of Madagascar was around eight million; in 2006, it was sixteen million and most of those are now in Tana. I have never seen so many kids.

The ship we took had several classes of travel. I think Randy and I took the next to last. It was not too bad really, dormitory style with bunk beds. The food was good. There was both a vegetarian line and a non-vegetarian line. We used the vegetarian line for lunch and dinner and the non-veg for breakfast because we wanted eggs. The trip took several days and on the way we were treated to Indian movies. That was the first time I had ever seen a Bollywood production. Treated is probably not very accurate because the sound system was terrible and it was way too loud. The days were spent on the deck watching the sea go by and reading Herman Hess’s The Glass Bead Game. So, after another trip across the Indian Ocean we arrived in Bombay, India.

In Bombay, we stayed at the Salvation Army Hostel. On the streets were quite a few wasted westerners wandering around. We didn’t really expect that to be our fate but it was a good heads up. We were both interested in getting up to Nepal as soon as possible and decided to take a train out to a good place to begin hitchhiking from. We didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t hitch in India. On our very first ride we had a surprise. A truck stopped. It was open in the back and we just needed to climb up and jump in. We threw our backpacks over the rail and climbed up and landed in a truck bed of manure. It wasn’t very wet so we just shrugged our shoulders and we were on our way.

After a couple of days traveling, we were ready to enter Nepal. We had arrived in the border town too late to be able to cross that day. We would have to wait for the next day. It just happened to be New Year’s Eve. I don’t think we made any festivities but just awaited our trip into Nepal in the morning.

After arriving in Kathmandu, we found our way to Freak Street where I knew Peter was staying in a guest house. Randy and Peter had never met. Peter had already left Madagascar by the time Randy showed up. Peter was very much into his exploration into Tibetan Buddhism. He was involved in a course that was being offered at the Kopan Monastery on the outskirts of the city. One day we went with him to visit and had a short chat with Lama Yeshe over a cup of tea. He offered his cup which we shared. He was a very kind man with a boyish grin. There were many westerners involved in the meditation teachings at the time but for some reason I wasn’t drawn to joining.

Randy and I went on to Pokhara in order to do a trek. In those days Pokhara hadn’t really become a big scene like it is today. On the sides of Lake Phewa were a few guest houses. Nearby was a Tibetan refugee camp and so a few Tibetans would set up on the paths and sell their goods. I bought a Tibetan mala and some pieces of coral with holes drilled in them for stringing on a mala. The guest house was very simple but I remember a nice garden and of course the views were incredible of both the lake and the mountains, a truly idyllic scene. There was a Japanese couple staying in the guest house that I noticed. She was very sweet and soft and he was intense with the stern look of a samurai. I would meet this couple again and they would get new names and become Geeta and Asanga.

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.

Witnessing Without a Center

Perhaps this can be helpful to someone. I have noticed recently that when I watch thoughts (content) there is a container (me). But when I watch the activity (not content), there is only witnessing.

This is important because that means that as long as I am engaging in the content the “me” remains. And if I take one step back and watch the movement, witnessing is, without a center. And this witnessing without a center is delicious.

This “take one step back” is really a misnomer. It is not a question of doing anything but simply “not doing.” Engaging in the content is “doing.” To watch without either grasping or rejecting is not doing and it is by watching without engagement that one finds oneself first witnessing the movement without content and when that movement is also witnessed without engagement, then one is Not, and only awareness Is.

-purushottama

From Orange Sunshine to Meditation

In early fall of 1968 a good friend of mine, Michael and I rented a house in a predominately African-American neighborhood of Kansas City, MO east of Prospect on the corner of 69th St. and College. Before we rented it, the house had been used as a neighborhood church. It had a big front room, which had been the meeting room, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a small kitchen and a room that was used as a living room. The house was painted pink and had a somewhat flat roof, hence we called it the Pink Flat.

Immediately the house started gathering a commune within its walls. Michael and I would go around to building sites after dark and pick up discarded plywood, two by fours and whatever else we could find and bring it back to the house. We then constructed a loft around the perimeter of the big room so that there were two levels of sleeping spaces and it began to fill.

We all made an effort to keep the house neat and tidy. Sometimes that required posting reminders. Some would remind us to wash our dishes, others would remind us to keep the bathroom clean. And all in all it remained remarkably clean considering the number of people who lived there.

Sometime in late spring or early summer of 1969 the extremely pure form of LSD, Orange Sunshine, appeared on the scene in Kansas City. Orange Sunshine was unlike any LSD that had preceded it.

One evening I took a dose of Orange Sunshine at the Pink Flat. It turned out to be my most significant LSD experience and laid the groundwork for a lifetime with meditation at the center.

Once the LSD started affecting me I left the house and walked around the neighborhood alone. I was a couple of blocks away from the house in some neighbor’s yard when I started to experience hallucinations and paranoia. This was unusual for me, it was rare for me to experience paranoia and I was not prone to hallucinations. But on this occasion it was happening. At some point it clicked that I was the one who was creating the hallucinations and the paranoia. And immediately with that realization the energy being projected from the mind started to go in reverse. It was literally as if I was reeling in the mind. And when all the energy that had been projected out returned home there was peace, a clarity, an At Homeness that I had never experienced so profoundly before. I was experiencing Being. I was at home, the ground of being.

It also became clear through this experience that I had had this realization as a result of taking the LSD but the truth of the experience of At Homeness was because of an ending of mental projection. The seeing of this was enabled by the heightened state of consciousness from the LSD but the realization that took place was beyond the chemistry. I had seen, quite literally, how the projecting mind works.

This new found at homeness lingered for weeks, perhaps even a month or more because I found I could return home by stopping the journey away from home. And the summer of 1969 continued to be a summer of awakening.

Most everyone in our Pink Flat commune began selling copies of The Kansas City Free Press, the local underground newspaper, on street corners as a means of income for the house. While I was creating a sales chart for our house sales I experienced the “witness” as I watched myself (from beyond the me) draw the columns.

A couple of months later after we had closed the house and everyone dispersed I was on The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City selling the Free Press on a street corner when a man named Charlie walked up and introduced me to Meher Baba. And through Meher Baba I was introduced to Tratak meditation.

Seven years later, in 1976, I would find myself being initiated by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) in the city that Meher Baba had been born and grown up in, Poona, India. And through Osho a much wider world of meditation opened before me.

If I remember correctly I took LSD one more time in that seven years after the Orange Sunshine experience and before I arrived in Poona and that was, as I saw it, some kind of self-check-up.

It is only within the last year that I came to know that the creator of Orange Sunshine, Nicholas Sand, also went to Poona, India in 1978 and was initiated by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) and became Deva Pravasi. Ironically his sannyas darshan with Osho is recorded in the darshan diary titled Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot.  Our paths crossed a few times at Rajneeshpuram  but I didn’t know that he hadbeen the creator of Orange Sunshine.

I am extremely grateful to Pravasi and his gift of chemistry for giving me a glimpse of the workings of the mind and that first experience of no-mind which helped propel me to meeting my Master, Osho.

Osho introduced me to the Meditation of watching the mind and by and by I discovered that the heightened state of consciousness that I had experienced with Orange Sunshine was none other than my “natural state”. I discovered that this “natural state” is clouded with mind, with desire, with thought, with identity and that it is possible to come clear of the clouds by watching directly the comings and goings of the mind. But the important ingredient to this watching is watching without grasping or rejecting, watching without judging, watching without jumping into the fray. And as one watches without interference the energy that is involved in thought begins to return home and the mind is reeled in, not by any effort and not by chemistry, but by no longer being a party to the creation of the me.

Of course as long as there are impressions remaining within the mind one is drawn out again and again but also it becomes easier and easier to return. This is the gift of meditation and this is the gift of Osho.

-purushottama

For more info see:

Osho News story on Pravasi

Osho – The Attraction for Drugs is Spiritual

The documentary: The Sunshine Makers available on Netflix

Osho – LSD, A Shortcut to False Samadhi

NY Times story: Nicholas Sand, Chemist Who Sought to Bring LSD to the World, Dies at 75