Tantra Failed for Two Reasons – Osho

Do you see shortcomings in the teachings of Tantra that incline you to feel tantric methods are not suitable for us?

It is not a complete system. There is a basic fallacy that human beings fall into: they find a small truth, a part of the truth, and rather than discover the whole, the remaining part they imagine to fill up the gap. Because they have part of the truth, they can argue and they can manage to make a system, but the remaining part is simply their invention.

All the systems have done that. Rather than discovering the whole truth, it is the human tendency to say, “Why bother? We have found a small piece which is enough for the showcase, which is enough to silence any enemy who raises any question” – and the remaining is just invention.

For example, tantra is right that sexual energy is the basic energy, so this energy should be transformed into higher forms. It is a truth. But what happened is that they never went very deep into meditation; meditation remained just secondary. And man’s sexuality shows itself so powerfully that in the name of tantra it became simply sexual orgy. Without meditation that was going to happen. Meditation should have been the most primary thing because that is going to transform the energy, but that became secondary.

And many people, who were sexually perverted, sexually repressed, joined the tantra school. These were the people who brought all their perversions, all their repressions. They were not interested in any transformation, they were interested only in getting rid of their repressions; their interest was basically sexual.

So although tantra has a piece of truth, it could not be used rightly. Unless that piece of truth is put in second place, and meditation moves into first place, it will always happen that in tantra, people will be doing all kinds of perversions. And with a great name, they will not feel that they are doing anything wrong; they will feel they are doing something religious, something spiritual.

Tantra failed for two reasons. One was an inner reason – that meditation was not made the central point. And second, tantra had no special methodology for the perverted and the repressed, so that first their repressions and perversions are settled and they become normal. And once they become normal, then they are introduced to meditation. Only after deep meditation should they be allowed in tantra experiments. It was a wrong arrangement, so the whole thing became, in the name of a great system, just an exploitation of sex.

That’s what many of the therapists are doing. Just the other day I saw Rajen’s advertisement for a tantra group – with an obscene picture. It will attract people because this is real pornography. Why bother to go to see just pictures printed on paper when you can see real people doing pornography? And Rajen has no understanding of meditation, has never meditated.

And these people will feel good, relieved, because the society does not allow them… In the group they will be allowed to do everything they want to do, so much repression will be thrown out, and they will feel relieved and light and they will feel thankful that they have gone through a great tantra experience. And there has been no tantra experience – it was simply a sexual orgy. And within a few days, they will again collect repressions because they cannot do it outside in the society. So they become permanent customers, chronic tantrikas.

And the so-called therapists enjoy the money that they bring. They have nothing to lose, they simply allow freedom. They start with all the great words that I have been using – “freedom,” “expression,” “no repression,” ”just be yourself, and don’t be worried what others are thinking,” “do your own thing.” And those idiots start doing their own thing!

First people should be introduced to meditation, and then they should be introduced to tantra methods. This is not tantra. Tantra methods are totally different. These people who are doing tantra, they don’t know anything about tantra.

For example, Ramakrishna meditated deeply, and whenever he felt any sexual urge disturbing his meditation he would ask his wife Sharda – who was a beautiful woman – to sit on a high stool, naked, and he would sit in front of her just looking at her, meditating on her till that sexual urge subsided. Then he would touch the feet of Sharda, his own wife, and he would thank her, saying, “You have been helping me immensely; otherwise, where would I have gone? The urge needed some expression, and just watching you was enough.”

The temple of Khajuraho has beautiful statues in all sexual postures. It was a tantra school that made the temple and those statues. And the first thing the student had to do was to meditate on each statue – and they are arranged in such a way that from one corner you go around the temple in a circle. It may take six months, but you have to watch each statue until you can see it just as a statue with no sexuality in it – and it is in a sexual posture. But just in your watching it, seeing it for months, it becomes a pure piece of art; all pornography disappears. Then you move to another. And all the perversions of human mind have been put into the statues.

And when you have circled the whole temple, only then will the master allow you inside the temple. Those six months are of immense meditation and of tremendous release, all repressions gone: you are feeling absolutely light. Then the master allows you in. And inside the temple there is no sexual statue; inside the temple there is nothing – emptiness.

Then the master teaches you how to go deeper into your meditation which has arisen in the six months, and now you can go very deep because there is no hindrance, no problem, no sexuality. And this going deep into meditation with no sexual disturbance means the sexual energy is moving with the meditation, not against it. That’s how it is transformed and takes higher forms.

All these so-called therapists know nothing about tantra; know nothing of why it failed. But they are not interested in that, they are interested in exploiting repressed people. And the repressed people are happy because after a seven or ten day tantra session, they feel relieved; they think this is some spiritual growth. But within two or three days all that spiritual growth will be gone, and they are ready for another group.

There are some people – you can call them “groupies” – that move from one group to another group to another group. Their whole life is just a movement from group to group. Just like hippies… but you can call them “groupies.”

-Osho

Taken from The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 38

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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From Sex to Ecstasy – Osho

Do values like love, religiousness, authenticity, happiness, change as human consciousness grows upwards?

The movement of human consciousness from darkness to light, from unconsciousness to consciousness, is the greatest revolution there is.

Everything in human life changes, even with a slight movement in consciousness. It all depends on where your consciousness is. But this is something which has never been explored. If you look into the dictionaries you will not find three meanings of love; there should be. You will not find three meanings of religiousness; there should be. You will not find three meanings of happiness either; there should be. Let us move step by step. Love, for the person who lives in the darkness of his instincts, is not even worth calling love. It is simply sex, a strategy of nature to go on reproducing itself.

You are being used as a means – that is the ugliest part of it. You are not the master of it, you are in the hands of biology. And whatever you are doing, it is not your doing either: you are forced by your instinctive nature to do it – there is no option, it is not your choice. You cannot choose – as far as instincts are concerned, their grip on you is absolute; you are simply a prisoner. But you go on befooling yourself: you think it is something that you are doing – it is something that is being done through you.

There is a story in India…. In Jagganath Puri, one of the sacred places of Hindus – jagganath means the lord of the world; the temple in Jagganath Puri is the temple of the lord of the world. Because of the temple, the city has grown around it, and because of the temple, the whole city is called Jagganath Puri.

Every year there is a great festival; millions of people gather. The statue from the temple is taken on a chariot for people to see, and it goes around those millions who have gathered. The chariot is drawn by beautiful horses, twelve, of the same color, pure white – the color of the lord of the world. The chariot is golden, of immense value.

Once it happened – this is how the story goes – that a dog started walking in front of the chariot, in front of the horses. Now, when millions of people were there, who was going to bother about a dog who is walking in front of the chariot? People were falling on the ground, prostrating, to give respect to the lord of the world. And the dog thought, “This is great! I have so many followers – I had no idea before. Such a multitude of disciples… I must be some great master.”

Obviously – the logic is simple – the disciples were there and everybody was prostrating to him. He was not aware of the lord of the world, who was behind. Even if he tried he could not see, because the statue was high in the chariot, and then there were twelve horses. It was not possible for the dog to find out to whom… and they were almost touching his feet. And when somebody is respected by millions of people in this way, the very idea of thinking that this respect is being given to somebody else who is behind is impossible – it is against the ego. And the evidence is so clear, anybody can see.

This is the situation of man as far as biology is concerned. The chariot of biology is behind you, carrying the lord of nature, and you think everything is being done by you. Just a little alertness is needed and you will be able to see that it is nothing to do with you. Nature wants to fulfill itself – you are being used as a means.

The antagonism of religion against sex is ninety-nine percent stupid, but there is one percent of truth which I cannot deny. But I have never talked about that one percent of truth to you because there is the danger that the one percent truth may deceive you and you will forget the ninety-nine percent which is untrue. So I have been hammering on the ninety-nine percent. But to make my picture complete… these are my last touches to the picture, so I cannot leave anything out.

That one percent of truth is significant; in fact because of that one percent, all religions became anti-sex. And that truth is that sex makes man a fool, gives him the idea that he is the master of it, while he is only a slave. And the slavery has to be broken – he has to be pulled out of this ditch. But if he thinks that that ditch is a palace then you cannot pull him out. You cannot even persuade him to come out of it; hence, the condemnation of sex by all the religions.

But they overdid it, and they forgot the ninety-nine percent dangers just for the one percent. It could have been done very easily without taking the risk of ninety-nine percent falsehood. But they saw the danger of man being simply a means, and that is the lowliest position possible; you are just a means, not an end. You are being used by some unknown force of which you have no idea. And you go on thinking in your mind that all these prostrating people are prostrating to you.

The man living on the instinctive level only has an hallucination of love. That hallucination is created by nature, by biology, chemistry. You have in your body drugs which are released when you are making love, and you start moving into euphoria. That is one of the reasons why people who become addicted to drugs slowly, slowly become uninterested in sex.

The hippies and yippies and all kinds of people – when they became too interested in drugs, they lost their fervor for sex completely, because now they had found a better way of getting into a euphoric state. Now sex seemed to be nothing compared to it. That can give you a clue that both are drugs.

Nature has been using that drug in a very minute quantity; there was no need for more up to now.

Perhaps nature will have to think again – find out better drugs, create better chemistry; bring its level up to date; it is lagging far behind. Man’s mind has created things like LSD; far superior; so superior that a man like Aldous Huxley thought that LSD gives you samadhi – that it is actually what Kabir and Buddha and Rumi and all the mystics of the world have been talking about. But they had bullock-cart methods to reach to this state.

Now science has given us very advanced drugs, there is no need for yoga and tantra and other things – you just take an injection. You yourself push the injection; there is no need for somebody else to do it. And for hours you are in a euphoric state which is certainly superior to what you call orgasm, because orgasm is so momentary that it only creates more desire for it; it never gives you any satisfaction.

The second symptom that it is a drug is its power of addiction: people become addicted to sex. And a very strange thing about addiction is that if you have the drug, it is nothing; if you don’t have it, you are missing. You never think what you are missing because when you have it, it is nothing. Each time you have it you feel that it is just a futile effort, nothing comes out of it. You don’t move a single inch in evolution. You just jump for a moment in the air and with a thump you fall back on the ground.

That’s why people don’t like to make love publicly, there is no other reason. The reason is nobody wants to look so foolish. Now, in California, which is the most advanced stupid place in the whole world, they have hotels for peeping Toms – you have to pay for it. Inside two fools are making love, and many around the room are sitting and looking and enjoying what the two fools are enjoying. They are enjoying how the couple is making fools of themselves. People pay for it, but those two people are not aware of it; they have also paid.

One man, the first day, was inside the room, but coming out he found many people really hilarious. He asked them, “What is the matter?”

They said, “The show was so good!”

“Which show?” He asked.

They said, “You don’t know? Come tomorrow – it is worth seeing.” The man was such an idiot, and he had been doing such idiotic things, it was worth seeing. The next day the man came with these friends. Now he was outside the wall – and then he found what the matter was: the previous day he had been inside and all these people had enjoyed him. This was tricky – now he was enjoying somebody else!

All the cultures around the world have prohibited, in some way or other, lovemaking in public places, for the simple reason that if you want to be idiotic then at least find some privacy. Don’t make yourself unnecessarily a public show free of charge. A crowd will gather and they will enjoy. Nobody can pass by that place; they will all stop there. And they know they all are doing the same kinds of things. But it is an unconscious state.

Love, at the instinctive level – which is the lowest level – is just a dream created by nature so that you can pass through this arduous job of making love. If there is no euphoria around it, you are going to refuse: “I am not going to make a fool of myself.” Nature has given you a certain allurement.

So in the unconscious state where instinct functions, love is only a name. It means nothing, it simply means foreplay… because just going to a woman and asking her, “Are you ready to come with me to bed?” looks so sudden and so inhuman that the woman, even if she wanted to come with you, is going to slap you. Instead of sleeping with you she is going to slap you then and there.

No, you have to follow a certain procedure – and that procedure you call love. It is not that you do it deliberately to cheat the woman, no: you are being cheated as much as she is being cheated by the same biological forces. The same force is making you say beautiful things to her, what you call “sweet nothings,” whispered into her ear. And the same force is managing things from the other side also, so that she believes you. Whatever you are saying – even if the woman is the ugliest that you have seen, if you say to her, “You are the most beautiful woman in the world, perhaps another Cleopatra,” she is going to believe it! And it is not that you are saying it to cheat her, to deceive her in any way; in that moment you are really true.

One of my friends, a very rich man, who presented me with almost everything…. He made it a point that nobody could present anything before him, so everything that I needed or could have needed anytime he managed to present to me – things which I never used. I asked him also “What am I going to do with this?”

He said, “That is not the point. The point is, nobody is going to present you anything before me.

Later on they can go on presenting you with things – and millions will be presenting you things out of love – but they will always be after me. Nobody else can be first.”

And I was very reluctant, because if there was something I was not going to use, if it was no use to me, he was unnecessarily wasting money. And he was so particular and such a perfectionist that only the best satisfied him. If I would not take something then he would find ways somehow to smuggle the thing into my house. Once, when I was leaving – I used to stay with him at least three days every year, that was a commitment. So three days I used to stay with him every year, and when I was leaving he said to me – which he had never said before – “Just be a little careful about your suitcase.”

I said, “I have come so many times, and so many times you have come to the train to say goodbye to me, but you have never said to me, ‘Be careful about the suitcase.’ What is the matter?”

He said, “Nothing is the matter,” and he gave me the key.

I said, “Strange – why are you keeping the key? If it had been left with you, then I would have been in trouble” – and it was a thirty-six-hour journey from his place to Jabalpur.

He said, “No, I was not going to forget it.”

As the train left, the first thing I did, I opened the suitcase: what was the matter? The suitcase was full of one-hundred rupee notes. I thought, “My God! What has he done?” And there was a slip in an envelope: “This is for a new Fiat car. Purchase it immediately. And you cannot say no to me because that will hurt me my whole life.”

I said, “This is strange.” I am continually traveling – in Jabalpur I remain only for five to seven days a month at the most, and that too, not at one stretch. But he will be certainly hurt.” And as I reached home, immediately my phone was ringing. He said, “You have to do first things first. I have already arranged it. I have contacted the Fiat Company in Jabalpur – and the car is ready there. Just take the suitcase and take delivery of the car.”

I said, “You don’t leave anything for me!” The car was already standing there ready and the man said, “We have been waiting for you.”

I said, “What to do? The train was two hours late.” And my friend must have been phoning according to the timetable. In India it is said that that’s why the timetable is published – so you can find how late the train is; otherwise how will you find out by how much the train is late? The timetable is absolutely a necessity. Only once it happened that I got into a carriage at the exact time. Traveling for thirty years continually; that was the only time the train arrived exactly on time; it was a miracle. I went to the guard and thanked him; I said, “This is a miracle.”

He said, “It is not a miracle. You don’t know – this is YESTERDAY’S train! We are twenty-four hours late, we are not on time.”

I said to the man at the garage, “What could I do? – the train was late, so two hours….”

He said, “Your friend was very particular about everything; a radio had to be in the car.” And he had made sure of everything, insurance…. And he asked the garage owner to arrange a license for me because otherwise the car might just stay parked at my place. He gave me the first tape-recorder, the first camera – everything that he could find, he would immediately bring to me.

This man was rare in many ways. He was a miser – such a miser that beggars simply bypassed his house. If any beggar ever stood there, other beggars thought, “This seems to be a new man

– standing before Rekhchand Parekh’s house, begging!” He had never donated to any institution in his life, never given a single pai to any beggar.

His wife had taken me to introduce to her husband because she said, “He is so miserly, and he has so much money. And we have only three daughters, who are married and have rich houses, so there is no problem. And there is no son, there is nobody after us, but he goes on collecting – even I don’t know how much he has.”

They lived in a place, Chanda, in Maharashtra. She said, “He had purchased almost one-third of the houses of the city – it seems he is going to purchase the whole city. If there is any house for sale, he is not going to let anybody else purchase it. And his only joy seems to be just accumulating money. I have brought many Jaina monks – because they were Jainas, and they were Gandhians – and I have brought many great disciples of Gandhi, thinking perhaps somebody will change his mind. But he is very straight and does not give any chance for anybody to even touch him.”

So I said, “Okay, I will come. I cannot guarantee anything; I don’t know what type of man he is, but he appeals to me.”

He had come to receive me at the station. While we were going to his house – he was driving –

I told him, “One thing I should tell you is that your wife has brought me here to persuade you not to be miserly. She wants you to donate to institutions that are doing a public service, to religious institutions, to schools, to hospitals. I am not interested in all of these things; I have just come to meet you because you attracted me. You are a rare man! Never in your life have you given to a beggar, never have you donated a single pai?”

He said, “Never, because I am waiting for the man who is worth to be given EVERYTHING.”

When we reached his house, his wife was surprised because never before had he taken to his sitting room any saints that she had brought. And he told the servants that I would be staying in his guest house, in his sitting room; that I would be there: “And tell my wife she need not worry about this man.” His wife was at a loss: What had happened?

A sudden synchronicity, he told me – not the word “synchronicity,” he had never heard that, but he told me, “It is strange, the moment I saw you, I felt, ‘This is the man.’” And even after we had known each other for twenty years, there was not a single question from him – no question, no doubt, no argument – whatever I was saying was truth to him.

I asked his wife only one question. After being there for the first time for three days, I asked his wife, “Is your husband interested in sex or not?”

She said, “Not at all, and it is not that he represses, he is simply finished. And you can see now that he is a strange man. He has told me, ‘If you are not finished you are free; you can have sex with whoever you want. I am finished with it.”’

The moment a man is finished with sex as an instinct that is forcing him to do something, he becomes in a certain way a master of himself and he starts having insights, visions which the unconscious, instinctive man cannot have.

Just looking at me – not a single word had been said – he said, “I have found the person.” And then whenever I needed any amount of money, for myself or somebody else, I had just to inform him, “Give this much money to this man.”

He never asked, “Who is this man and why is so much money needed for him?” He simply gave it.

His wife was simply shocked. She could not believe that this miserly man… how suddenly he had completely become just the opposite. I told her, “There is no problem. He is not miserly – it was your misunderstanding. He never wanted to give to those people who are not worthy of it. And coming from the station to the house he said to me, ‘I have found you; now all that I have belongs to you. Whatsoever you want to do with it you can do.’ He is not a miserly man, it was your misunderstanding. It is difficult to find such a man, so generous.” But from where was his generosity coming? His generosity was coming from a certain mastery over himself.

The instinctive man clings to everything: to sex, to money, to power – to everything.

I asked him, “Why do you go on purchasing all the houses?”

He said, “Some day you may like to have a commune – then from where am I going to suddenly give you a commune? By that time I will have purchased the whole city. I know that you will take a little time before you need a place – I am preparing it for you.” Now, nobody would have thought that he was purchasing houses… that even before knowing me, he was purchasing them for somebody who was going to come into his life, who one day may need this whole city.

And many times it happened… he used to come with me once in a while for a tour. Anybody would think that he was a miser because he was such a rich, super-rich man, but he would always travel third class on the passenger trains. Never express trains, mail trains, no; never first class, air-conditioned – out of the question. But whenever he would travel with me, he would say, “You can travel in the air-conditioned class; I will travel in the third class.”

Once I asked, “Why do you insist on traveling third class?”

He said, “I have my own ideas. People think I am a miser – I don’t care a bit about money. What am I going to do with the money? Soon I will die and all this money will be lying here. But to travel in the third class is an experience: the crowd, the people, the gossips, and things that go on happening in the third class of an Indian railway train….” He had traveled all over India, and he had friends at every station; he would call the coolies by their names. And he knew every place where you could get the best milk, where you could get the best tea, where you could get the best sweets.

He said, “With an express train, a mail train, this is not possible, because they stop only at a few stations and I want to stop at every station, because at every station I have friends and I have things to do. The passenger train stays longer at every station. If other trains are passing, then the passenger train will be delayed; no other train will be delayed, so you always have hours on your hands. And all these stationmasters are my friends, the guards are my friends, the drivers are my friends – because I call all of them when I know that a particular sweet is made the best at that station. So they say to me, ’Parekh, enjoy yourself! Unless you enter the train, the train will not move.’ ”

And he said, “I like to be the master rather than the servant – not that they give the whistle and you run, no.”

That was his reason: “I want to be the master. When I enter the train, then whistling and flagging and everything happens – but first they have to see that Parekh has entered.”

He was an old man – I was only thirty-five, he was fifty at that time – but he would take me out of the station, and he would say, “Come outside. The mango trees are great here.”

I would say, “The train is there – are we going to pick mangos? And then if we miss the train…. I have my appointment.”

He would say, “Don’t be worried. Until I enter the train, the train remains in the station. You can go up the tree, I am also coming; we will go up the tree and pick mangos.”

One day it happened: we were picking mangos and Parekh said to me, “Just look upwards,” and there was another man. He said, “He is the driver. He knows that I will come to pick mangos so the train has to stay. So why waste time? – Collect a few mangos, and these mangos are really sweet! In fact, the guard will be in some other tree…. It is all under my control.”

This man had no instinctive force. He was not in any way interested in any particular food; he liked all kinds of food, he liked all kinds of clothes. In fact he was so disinterested that anything would do – no special liking, disliking. But he was a man full of love.

Once in a city in Rajasthan, Biawar, he was with me, and I had a fever. The whole night he remained by my side. I told him, “Parekh, you go to sleep. Because of you I cannot go to sleep!”

He said, “That is up to you – that is your problem. I am not saying to you, ‘Don’t go to sleep’; I am trying to help you to go to sleep. As far as I am concerned I cannot sleep knowing that you have a fever. The fever may increase in the night and I may be asleep. That is not permissible.”

And actually it happened: in the night the fever increased; at two o’clock it was one hundred and five. He said, “Do you see the point? You would not have awakened me.”

I said, “That is true.”

He called the doctor and he said to me, “This is not the time for you to leave the body. If you can make some arrangement, I am willing to leave the body and you remain in the body – because you have much to do, and I have nothing to do.”

This is love of a totally different kind – a caring, a friendliness.

The instinctive love can become any moment hate. The man who was ready to die for you can kill you. The woman who was so caring towards you, so loving towards you, can poison you; literally she can poison you. Love, if it is instinctive, is not in your hands; you are just a slave.

The unconscious is very easily convertible into its opposite, and you cannot do anything about it.

But when love comes to the conscious level – that is, when it comes to the level of intellect, not instinct – then it has a different flavor. Then it has no biological purpose.

What biological purpose can music have? What biological purpose can poetry have? Or painting? Or philosophy? But Socrates is ready to die for his philosophy. There seems to be a tremendous love affair with his own system that he has created. He knows perfectly well that his death is not going to destroy his philosophy, but if he compromises just to go on living, that may destroy his whole philosophy. The very compromise – because that was one of his teachings: never compromise. Truth is truth, and untruth is untruth. And there is no possibility of compromise.

Just the other day I received a very beautiful, nice, elegant letter from a council of priests, bishops, Christian theologians. They have a certain council in America, and they have written that they have been discussing me now for almost two to three years – reading, discussing. I have become their center of discussion. They have invited me to come, and they will take every care; they want to exchange thoughts with me. That’s where the trouble is.

The whole letter is beautiful. And in this too – they have not consciously written anything rude – they are unconscious people. An exchange of thoughts is not something bad, but they don’t know that you cannot exchange thoughts with me; I don’t deal in that business. If you know, then I will not bother. If you don’t know, then how is the exchange going to be? What are you going to give me in exchange? Either you know or you don’t know; there is no third position. You cannot say, “A little bit I know,” because truth cannot be divided into fragments.

You cannot know truth a little bit; either you know it, the whole of it, or you don’t know it, the whole of it. So what exchange?

Now, I may look rude to them. I am not ready for any exchange because as far as I am concerned I don’t need anybody’s ideas. It was so difficult to get rid of them, now again to exchange…. It took me twenty-one years to get rid of other people’s ideas. I am not interested. Even if God invites me for an exchange of ideas – nothing doing! You can have your ideas, and I don’t have any ideas to give you.

I can share myself, but it is not going to be an intellectual discussion. It is going to be an intelligence communion; but for that, that council cannot be ready. They have already decided what is right, who is the messiah. They have already decided that God exists. Now what remains to be exchanged?

You have your whole theology already decided, by others, not by you. You have borrowed it and now you are feeling in confusion because of my ideas. If my ideas are so confusing, that is proof enough that you don’t know what truth is; otherwise, what is the point of discussing for three years? Who am I? – I have not been discussing those fellows, not even for three days, what to say about three years. And they must have written great theological books….

There is no possibility of exchange; but at the instinctive level, everything is an exchange. You give something, you take something – and there is every effort to take more than you give. That’s the whole difficulty of all the couples around the world. The wife goes on saying, “I love you, but you don’t love me.” The husband says, “How to prove it? I love you.” But nobody can convince the other.

It is not a question of convincing. But why does the question arise that “You love me less,” or “I love you more”? At the instinctive level, love is a quantity. You can measure it – how many kilos you give and how many kilos you get in return, in exchange. And you can see who is a loser. It is a business deal. And people are continually quarreling, and trying to manage to snatch as much from the other as possible.

But when love moves to the conscious level, when it has no biological slavery, when it is free of biology… that does not mean that you cannot make love to someone. You can make love to someone, but now it will have a totally different quality. It will not be in any way a bondage, an enforcement by nature. It will be out of your freedom; you can share.

The right word to use will be… it will be just playfulness. Yes, you can play with somebody’s body. You like the body, you enjoy the body, you enjoy the warmth of the body; you enjoy the contours of the body. You can be playful, there is no business deal.

In fact that is why – along with many other reasons, this is also one of the reasons – I am in favor of birth control methods, while all the religions are against it. You will be surprised to know what is going on in the minds of the popes, shankaracharyas, imams, rabbis. You may not have thought of it in that way, perhaps they are not even aware themselves, but I want it to be clear to you and to them. This is the fact that is going on in religious people’s minds: If birth control methods become more prevalent, then sex will be a playfulness. Then you cannot call it sin.

There is nothing involved, no sin at all. Two persons enjoying each other’s warmth – there is no problem in it. They cannot condemn sex, they cannot condemn you, that you are in bondage, a slave. They cannot say to you, “You are only a means in the hands of biology,” because birth control methods make you capable, even if you are not conscious, they make you capable of turning sex into playfulness; and that is the danger. Their whole theology will collapse because no religious scripture had the idea that there were going to be birth control methods.

They were happy with the slavery of sex because then they could condemn it and you could not argue – it is so clear that it is a slavery, and nobody wants to be a slave: So repress it, get out of it. But the dilemma is that the more you repress it, the more you try to get out of it, the more you are caught in it. Only by playfulness is there a possibility one day, suddenly, to get out of it, because it is no longer a serious business.

One fundamental you have to remember: if you fight with something you will have to remain on that level to fight; otherwise how can you continue the fight? If you are fighting sex, then you cannot move beyond your instinctive level – impossible – because then who will fight? If you start moving upwards then all those wolves in your unconscious will run amok. You cannot leave that place, you have to be there constantly fighting, repressing. How is transformation possible for a man who is fighting with his own nature? It is impossible.

Take it as a categorical principle; there is no exception to it. With whomsoever you fight you will have to remain with that person, with that state, with that space. But if you are playful, then it is a totally different thing. If you are on the war front you cannot say to the soldiers on the other side, “Now I am feeling tired; we will go home now and start tomorrow.” You cannot say that. If you turn your back that fellow is going to shoot you then and there, and finish all your tiredness.

On the front you cannot do that, but if you are playing with somebody, playing cards, you can say, “Now I am tired. Tomorrow we will start; we can start even from this point where we are stopping.” There is no problem in it, it is only a play.

Let your instinctive world become a playfulness….

And that’s the fear of all the priests in the world. They are condemning me continually for the simple reason that I am giving you a chance to get out of the grip of your instinct. But that is also the grip of the priest; that is also the grip of the pornographer. If you get out of your instinctive level, you are free from the priest, the pope, and the pornographer. The pornographer and the priest are using the same methodology. And they are partners, whether they know it or not, in the same business.

You will be surprised to know that in aboriginal tribes you cannot make anybody interested in a nude, pornographic picture. You cannot make anybody interested. I have lived in Bastar, and gone there again and again… because in India a few tribes are left which are five thousand years old. And they have not kept pace with time; they have stood still. So it is good for a visit into history, five thousand years old; there is no other way to visit history, to go back in time.

But in Bastar it is not the twentieth century. You can touch a woman’s breast and ask, “What are these?” and she will say, “You don’t know? These are tits for children to drink milk.” She is not offended by that, that you touched her tits. She is simply surprised that you don’t know such a simple thing.

They are almost naked. They only wrap a cloth around when they come to the cities, down from their hills, out of their forests; otherwise they are all naked. How can you make an aboriginal of Bastar interested in a PLAYBOY magazine or STERN? He will be simply surprised: “What is this?”

It is like a magazine on fruits advertising tomatoes half-clothed, tightly clothed. A man who grows tomatoes will be simply surprised: “Are these people mad? If you are advertising tomatoes, then advertise tomatoes, but why these strange clothes, tight around the tomatoes?”

These pornographers are using what the priest has done before. The priest is the head partner, perhaps the major shareholder. He represses sex; he makes people interested in sex beyond all rationality – he drives them irrational about sex. Then comes the pornographer, and naturally, the repressed person would like at least to see the photographs. He is not allowed to see living human beings, that is a sin. At least THE BIBLE has not said, “Cursed are those who will see pornography. They will inherit the kingdom of hell.” I think pornographers will be needed in heaven too, because all your monks will die…. They may have already found a way to smuggle in PLAYBOY, STERN, and all kinds of third-rate magazines from around the world.

You may even be surprised to find God looking at a PLAYBOY magazine, because He is the original source of this whole business. And it is natural, because He has not even a girlfriend – what to say of a wife, not even a girlfriend. In the name of a girlfriend he has the Holy Ghost. Just think of yourself with the Holy Ghost as your girlfriend; you would like better to live alone. You would ask the Holy Ghost, “Leave me alone, you go somewhere else.”

The priest creates the business basis: repression. Then the pornographer uses it.

I am destroying their business completely.

-Osho

Taken from From Misery to Enlightenment, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

Osho on O-theism

The following is an interview with Kirk Braun, a reporter for the Portland newspaper The Oregonian, which took place in Osho’s Lao Tzu House, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon in 1983. I have taken the liberty of substituting the word O-theism for Rajneeshism as Osho, himself substituted Osho for the name Rajneesh to illustrate that He who is speaking is not limited to the body seen (never born, never died), O-theism is not limited to the body teaching, or even time nor place.

Q: What is your vision for the future of O-theism?

Osho: O-theism is not a religion like Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, etc. The name should not be misunderstood. It simply shows a poverty of language – to be exactly true, O-theism is a religionless religion. In other words it is a kind of religiousness, not a dogma, cult or creed but only a quality of love, silence, meditation and prayerfulness. Hence it can never end.

It is not beginning with me. It has always existed and it will always exist. It is the very essence of human evolution, of culture consciousness. Buddha, Jesus or Krishna are nothing but expressions of this spirit, but it was not possible in those days for religion to be manifested as well as it can be now. Because Jesus did not know about Buddha, Buddha did not know about Lao Tzu, and Krishna was also unaware of Lao Tzu, etc.

I have traveled all the paths and have looked at the truth from all the windows. What I am saying is going to last forever because nothing more could be added to it.

Buddha was not so sure of his religion. He said that his religion would last for 5,000 years, and that too only if he didn’t allow women to join his commune. And when women entered his commune he said, “Now the religion will only last 500 years.”

All of these people have talked about some aspect of truth and their disciples have understood it as the whole truth. I am talking about the whole truth so the future of my religion is infinite. All other religions will disappear into it as all the rivers disappear into the ocean.

Q: Will the world make any progress in the area of human understanding?

Osho: Certainly. In fact the time in which we are living is of tremendous importance. A revolution in human consciousness is no more a luxury; it has become an absolute need as there are only two alternatives – suicide or a quantum leap in consciousness, which Nietzsche called superman. And I absolutely believe that nobody wants to choose suicide. Up to now man has been surviving without transformation because there was no urgency for change. Nuclear weapons have brought a great urgency for a choice of now or never. There is a simple law that life wants to survive, so in my vision humanity is going to take the same significant change that the monkeys made when monkeys became human.

Q: Do you think O-theists will survive the predicted nuclear holocaust and if so, how?

Osho: As I said earlier monkeys took a jump and became human beings, but not all monkeys did. The remaining ones are still monkeys so let me put your question in a different way.

I will not say that all O-theists will survive the holocaust but I can say with an absolute guarantee that those who will survive will be the O-theists and the remaining will be monkeys or commit suicide. In fact the remaining don’t matter.

[NOTE: This was first published in The Rajneesh Times, 19th August 1983 while Osho was in silence.]

See related post O-theism.

O-theism

O-theism is Religion-less Religious-ness.

It is the No Religion of Whole religion.

O-theism is the understanding that there is no God separate from existence. It is the understanding that God is the Beingness which is experienced when one is at-one knowingly with the whole of existence.

It is the understanding that this Beingness is the potential of all human beings and that it is the identification with a fictitious entity (ego) which prevents the realization of this potential.

O-theism is the understanding that there have been many masters who have attained that Beingness and have expressed that experience in the language and culture in which they lived. Their experience is One but their expressions are many.

It is the perennial philosophy. It is the Heart of the teachings of all the Awakened Masters including Krishna, Lao Tzu, Mahavir, Mohammed, Zarathustra, Guru Nanak, Buddha and Christ.

O-theism is the religion-less of the Sufis, Tao, Advaita, Tantra, Yoga and Zen.

It is the religious-ness of Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Meher Baba, Krishnamurti and Osho.

O-theism is the religion of Enlightenment.

It is the ground in which Theism, Atheism and Deism dissolve.

O-theism is the end of theism. It is All-theism and No-theism, hence O-theism.

Osho and the 16th Karmapa

16th Karmapa performing Black Crown Ceremony
16th Karmapa performing Black Crown Ceremony

The first time I heard the name Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was on a bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu. My friend Randy, (who had traveled with me to India and Nepal from Madagascar), and I were trekking on the Annapurna route and reached the point where we decided to turn around. Ben and his girlfriend Kathy (actually I’m not sure of their names but will refer to them as Ben and Kathy from here on out), were coming down the path and said that they had run into snow. Being ill-equipped, without even sleeping bags, the decision was choiceless. We all spent the night in a teahouse.

There seemed to be some tension between Ben and Kathy. They were both involved in Tibetan Buddhist practice but it seemed that Ben was keener than Kathy and this was causing some friction.

On the bus ride back to Kathmandu, Ben and I sat together and Randy and Kathy sat together with a growing chemistry. Ben told me about his experience doing a Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat at the Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu. Randy and I had visited Kopan a week or so earlier with another friend from Madagascar and had the good fortune to have a cup of tea with the head Lama, Lama Yeshe. He was a very sweet man and enormously generous. But as I explained to Ben, I wasn’t finding myself attracted to the Tibetan Buddhist practice. In fact, the words that I heard come out of my mouth as we talked were, “I’m looking for something more universal and more personal.” For one thing, it was the limitation of the “ism” in Buddhism that turned me away. My own intuitive spiritual sky was wide open and did not want to be confined into a container, however much I respected the teachings.

Ben told me that I should pay a visit to the ashram of a guru in India named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and proceeded to give me the address. Ben had met one of Rajneesh’s sannyasins recently while he was on a visa run and so was visiting Nepal in order to return to India with a new visa. This sannyasin named Devanand had impressed him and what he heard about Rajneesh interested him but he was quite immersed in the Tibetan Buddhist dharma. So I put the piece of paper with the address away in my wallet. The bus ride was a few hours and so Ben and I had quite a long chat. He was a sincere practitioner, perhaps I thought a bit too serious, but regardless we had a very nice connection.

When we arrived back in Kathmandu, both Ben and Kathy returned to Kopan to continue their practice and Randy and I stayed in a guest house. Randy and I were intending on spending a couple more weeks in Kathmandu and so found a room in a private house. It was a lovely situation because the house had a walled garden and so offered a retreat from the daily busy-ness of the city. This house was closer to the Tibetan Swayambhu Monastery which we liked to visit.

We had learned that a very important Tibetan Buddhist teacher was coming to Kathmandu soon to perform an Empowerment Ceremony and this event was to take place at Swayambhu. I wasn’t really sure what an Empowerment Ceremony was but it sounded interesting. Unfortunately, we also learned that it was only open to practicing Buddhists.

The day of the event I spent meditating in our room. It was a silent, cool oasis. We were close enough to the monastery to hear the Tibetan horns and in my meditation I felt a humming sensation in the area of my heart.

During our time in Kathmandu both Randy and I became interested in Satya Sai Baba. He was quite popular with the Hindu Nepalis and his photo and books were everywhere. I was intrigued by the possibility of a “living” Master. I had been introduced to Meher Baba seven years before, six months, however, after he had passed away, so the idea of meeting a living Buddha very much appealed to me.

Randy and I decided to end our traveling partnership. We had different schedules. I wanted to go to India and head south and possibly meet Sai Baba. Randy also wanted to do the same, but he had become involved in a torrid affair with Kathy that hadn’t burned itself out. We bid our farewells with the idea that we would meet up at the Sai Baba ashram which was in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Note: I will now intersperse my story with a letter I received from my friend Randy (Narayanadeva) after sharing what I had written of our journey in Nepal and India.

Dear Purushottama,

What a flash from the past. Thank you for this.  It brings so much back.  Your memory is like a video recording.  My memory is patchy with particular moments fuzzily framed. If you don’t mind I want to share what I can.

I believe if we hadn’t stopped where we had at that last village at 10,000 feet that we would have gotten into serious trouble.  There was a group with a broken leg still on the snowed-in trail was the story.

 I remember the couple.  The name Ben comes to mind and I can’t remember the name of the girl, Kathy is very close.  This was a significant time.

She was from the east coast, living in an artists and musicians commune, a photographer and roadie with Jethro Tull, I think.  The social and other experiments she participated in at such a tender age, this boy from Nebraska was challenged to comprehend.  In this respect she was much more worldly, wiser than me, an elder in a killer 20 something body.   

She was also the first lover in my life where the center of gravity and conversations were about spirituality, Buddha’s teachings in particular, and how to reconcile our limited understanding with what we saw in the monasteries and monks, which was then followed by the most present lovemaking for me up to that time.  We flew high, were consumed with each other, and parted consciously in mid bubble, purposely in crescendo. I review that time with joy and sadness. It is hard to think of that extraordinary woman and time without sometimes tearing. She was finished traveling, wanted to return to her art. I knew I didn’t want to go back to anything. I was sure I wanted to go forward. We knew but unspoken that to go further would have brought reality into the mix. We wanted to say goodbye in full bloom. Things like that were easier in your 20’s.  I must say probably the most, bitter sweet, intense affair I ever remember in a life riddled with less meaningful affairs.

I remember spending the winter in Kathmandu immersing myself in everything I could about the Buddha’s teaching, going to the temples, hanging with the monks, partaking in the local produce followed by the pie shops.  I was completely blown away and still am today about the psychology, the profound understanding of the science of the mind, but could not get my head around the asceticism. Why the monks, western included had to walk around in winter without shoes or why the poor food needed to be covered in flies.  Also the live translations of the Lama’s discourses by some very severe and grim western types.   If there was any juice in the teaching, these translators sucked it out and everything was completely lost in translation. I knew for me to go deeper I needed to be able to listen and speak about all this in my tongue.

This is also where the timing gets confused. I do not remember you during that winter.  I remember attending the Karmapa’s Black Hat ceremony after spending those cold months in study.  This is when I had the most profound experience with him.

The ceremony lasted several days.  There were many westerners mingled with the overflowing crowds of Tibetans.  The first few days I could not get into the hall but stood outside with the multitudes listening and catching glimpses through the barred windows of the pageantry.

There was one day that I did get in and sat with a few other westerners along with it seemed several hundred monks with the Karmapa on podium doing chants and mudras. The monks deep toned chanting in response, the horns, the incense, I got completely stoned.  When it was over, I lingered.  The hall was clearing out.  I stood in the middle looking up at all the hanging tangkas.  I turned around, a few people parted and there was the Karmapa sitting alone on his dais looking at me with an inviting smile a few meters away.   I was so shy and not sure what to do.  I smiled, bowed and retreated. 

The next day I could not get in. I was peering through the open air barred window being jostled back and forth by the crowds feeling the music and chanting; suddenly the Karmapa was at the window looking directly at me about 50 centimeters away. He had been making the rounds inside, blessing everyone in the hall.  He looked in my eyes and smiled. He threw water on my face and these words came into my head “Don’t worry, this path is not for everyone” Then he was gone.

I was so shocked. This was the confirmation.   Whenever I think of this I feel I was blessed by this very extraordinary being. How he got those words clearly into a very confused mind was magical.

It was not long afterward that I headed south and planned to go to Sai Baba’s ashram as we had planned, on my way to Madras before heading back to the states.  As you remember we gave Sai Baba magical powers and were convinced he was going to help us financially.

I got to Bombay and stayed at the Salvation Army behind the Taj Mahal hotel.  The very place you and I stayed on our first nights in India coming by boat for 10 days from Madagascar and Mauritius.  Do you remember waking up to the Shiva Baba’s with their pythons and cobras, the junkies some dyed from head to toe in blue, including one with a blue dog, the color of the local antiseptic? What a circus before we took a train to the edge of town and hitched our way to Nepal.  Do you remember the time a truck stopped for us and we threw our packs into the back, climbed up and jumped into a truck full of cow shit along with our packs?  Do you remember all the chillum brakes at the roadside temples?  Or the nights in small villages waking up to thousands of the same face staring at us with vacant eyes and all with small pocked scars, village after village the same?  

When I was in New Delhi, I heard that there was a Meher Baba center and so I visited during one of their evenings. Upon hearing that I was on my way to visit Satya Sai Baba, an older Baba lover suggested that I go see a rebel of a guru named Rajneesh. I remembered the name and said that I did have in mind possibly stopping there as well. He told me that the Rajneesh ashram was in Poona, just a couple of hours by train from Bombay. He also said that although Satya Sai Baba was not in Poona, there was some kind of Baba center there. At this point, it became clear to me that I would indeed head to Poona.

Walking out of the Poona train station, I found a rickshaw and told the driver to take me to the Sai Baba center. I said, “Sai Baba center, not Rajneesh ashram.” “Yes, yes,” he replied. I had decided that I would first go to the Sai Baba center and then check out the Rajneesh ashram.

As we got nearer and nearer to our destination I saw increasing numbers of young western people dressed in orange clothes. By this time, I had been exposed to a couple of Rajneesh sannyasins and so recognized what I was seeing. We arrived at a large gate and on the top was written Shree Rajneesh Ashram. A large blonde German fellow greeted me and I heard myself say, “I don’t think I am where I was going, but I know that I’m in the right place.”

The first thing that I read from Osho (I will now begin to refer to Rajneesh by the name he took only a few months before leaving this planet) spoke directly to me. There was no space; no separation between the words and my self, there was an immediacy. It was clear within days that I would not be going on to the Sai Baba ashram; I had found the living Master I was looking for. I had arrived just weeks before a major celebration day, March 21st, honoring Osho’s day of Enlightenment. I took initiation, became a sannyasin and did a couple of groups. During this time I read one of Osho’s books called The Silent Explosion. At the very end of the book was the story of an Indian sannyasin who had gone to Sikkim and visited the Karmapa at his Rumtek Monastery. This was the same Lama that had been in Kathmandu months earlier. I had learned that he was highly respected in the Tibetan Buddhist community and was on par with or even more highly regarded than the Dalai Lama.

This is the story that was recounted:

     In 1972, Swami Govind Siddharth, an Osho sannyasin, visited the Tibetan Lama Karmapa, who had fled from Tibet and who at that timed lived in his Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. When Siddharth arrived, accompanied by his wife and two young daughters, the monastery was completely closed. In an interview at the time, he told of his initial disappointment at not meeting the Karmapa. Then all of a sudden, one monk came running out to tell him that he was immediately wanted inside by His Holiness. He went in and was greeted by the Karmapa as if he was expected there. The Karmapa never even knew anything about him beforehand as he had not made an appointment… he knew nothing about him except that he was dressed in the faded orange of early neo-sannyas.

     Of Lama Karmapa, it was said he was a ‘Divine Incarnation’, a Bodhisattva. In Tibet, they believe that whosoever attains to Buddhahood, and then by their own wishes is born again to help people in the world is a divine incarnation — Bodhisattva. His Holiness was said to be the sixteenth incarnation of Dsum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa, who was born about 1110 AD.

     When Swami Siddharth first entered, the Karmapa immediately told him that he knew where he was from. He said, “I am seeing that you have somewhere some photograph or something which is printed on two sides, of your Master.” Siddharth answered that he had nothing like that which is printed on two sides. He had completely forgotten about the locket hanging from his mala with Osho’s photograph on both sides! There was an English woman who was acting as an interpreter, since the Lama Karmapa did not speak English. She immediately saw his mala and said, “What is this?” He then remembered that the locket was printed on two sides and he said, “This is the photograph of my Master.” She was curious to see it, so Siddharth took it off and showed it to her.

     Immediately, the Karmapa said, “That is it.” He took the locket of Osho in his hand and he touched it to his forehead and then said: “He is the greatest incarnation since Buddha in India — he is a living Buddha!” The Karmapa went on to say, “You may be feeling that he is speaking for you, but it is not only for you that he speaks. Rajneesh speaks for the Akashic records also, the records of events and words recorded on the astral planes. Whatever is spoken is not forgotten. That is why you will find that he goes on repeating things and you will feel that he is doing this for you, but, as a matter of fact, he speaks only for a few people.  Only a few people realize who Rajneesh is. His words will remain there in the Akashic records, so that they will also be helpful to people in the future.”

     The Karmapa went on to say that Osho had been with Siddharth in past lives. “If you want to see one of Rajneesh’s previous incarnations — who he was in Tibet — you can go to Tibet and see his golden statue there which is preserved in the Hall of Incarnations.” He continued to chat about Osho and his work, “My blessings are always there, and I know that whatever we are not going to be able to do to help others, Rajneesh will do.” He explained that one of the main aims of the Lamas in coming to India was to preserve their occult sciences. Osho from his side also confirmed this in his Kashmir lectures given in 1969. He said then, “The Dalai Lama has not escaped only to save himself, but to save the Tibetan religion, the meditation secrets and the occult sciences”

     The Karmapa went on to explain, “We have gotten these things from India in the past, and now we want to return them back. Now we have come to know that here is an incarnation, Rajneesh, who is doing our job in India and the world, and we are very happy about it. The world will know him, but only a few people will realize what he actually is. He will be the only person who can guide properly, who can be a World Teacher in this age, and he had taken birth only for this purpose.”

When I read this story I was very skeptical, because all devotees of gurus like to exaggerate the importance of their teachers. Although I believed the story must be based on some truth, I could not be sure what the Karmapa thought about Osho.

In the meantime, I had written to my friend Randy to tell him about Osho and the ashram and had sent it to American Express, Delhi, where I knew he would pick up mail. One day I went into the ashram office to check for a response and as I was walking down the steps leaving, coming through the gate was my friend Randy. He had never received my letter but had learned of Osho on his own.

Narayanadeva’s letter continues:

Anyway I returned to Bombay to catch a boat to Goa and then planned to go to Sai Baba by land.  I needed to get something to read.  The best bookstore I knew was at the Taj Mahal Hotel.  I went to the section on psychology and religion.  I was browsing when I swear this book fell on my big toe.  “Archarya Rajneesh” was the title.  The first page mentioned that he gave lectures in English and lived in Poona only one day away. 

Getting there, first person I meet is you.  And our stories join and the rest is history.

Brother, we shared some amazing times together.  I have forgotten so many of them.  It is a complete delight to hear from you with your photographic memory of those days.    We were so lucky. I am so grateful for that time.

Much Love to you my fellow traveler.

Narayanadeva a.k.a. Randy

I had by this time realized that my time traveling outside of the States was coming to an end. Taking sannyas was a new beginning for me and to be honest I wanted to return to my hometown and share this remarkable discovery. I had received a name for a meditation center that I would start. Randy, (who had become Narayanadeva by this point), and I said our farewells again with approximately the same plans to return to the States by going east from India through Thailand but with slightly different time frames.

On the plane from Bombay to Calcutta I sat next to a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He didn’t speak a word of English but there we were— he in his maroon robes and me in my orange clothes.

It might have been the first or second night of my stay in a Sutter Street guesthouse in Calcutta and in walked Ben, the American Tibetan Buddhist who had given me the contact info for Osho. I was very happy to see him. I had thought about him many times and was so grateful for his sharing and I wanted to tell him what I had found. We talked a bit and then he told me that coincidentally the Karmapa was in Calcutta and he was going to see him the next day at the Oberoi Hotel. He invited me to go with him. I was delighted. For one thing in the back of my mind was the Rumtek story and so I thought I would be able to see what the Karmapa actually did think about Osho for myself.

The Karmapa’s room was a corner one and Ben and I approached from one hallway and as we neared we could see an Indian sannyasin couple in orange approaching from the other direction. He was dressed in a lunghi and had a very long beard and long hair. She was dressed in an orange sari. They were Osho sannyasins and ran the Calcutta Osho center.

We all entered the room and were shown to sit just in front of the Karmapa who was seated on a sofa. He was immensely childlike, full of love and innocence and looked to be always on the verge of a good chuckle. He sat stroking the beard of the Indian sannyasin who was sitting slightly to his right. This in itself would have been enough to let me know what he thought of Osho but it was not all. Sitting next to him on the sofa he had propped up a copy of Sannyas Magazine (published at the ashram) with a photo of Osho beaming out on to our group.

At that point it did not matter whether the story that I had read was factual or not, I could see the connection between the Karmapa and Osho. That space out of which the Karmapa and the photo of Osho appeared was One.

Of course I had related the story to Ben when we met in Calcutta but after the meeting at the Oberoi we didn’t talk of it again. We were invited to a private Black Crown (Empowerment) Ceremony that was taking place at the home of a wealthy Indian woman later that evening. This is the same ceremony that took place months earlier at the Swayambhu Monastery in Kathmandu but that I had not been able to attend.

One of the first people I met after arriving at the house was the Tibetan monk who had sat next to me on the flight. As it turned out he had been traveling to join up with the Karmapa and return with him to Rumtek. He was as surprised as I was.

The ceremony was penetrating; to be in a room with Tibetan horns blaring is in itself a transformative experience. After the ceremony the few westerners that were there, I think maybe we were five, were invited into a side room where the Karmapa gave a teaching on Tilopa’s Song of Mahamudra. This is the most important text of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Osho had himself given a discourse series published as Tantra: the Supreme Understanding on this text, and I was traveling with the book.

Because the Karmapa didn’t speak English he had a translator, but his translator told us he was having a very difficult time translating this teaching into English. He was frustrated but the Karmapa was understanding and compassionate. This experience highlighted for me one of the advantages of having a teacher who spoke English. Osho’s words did not need to be translated and we were able to hear them directly without a filter.

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to first spend some time with the Karmapa and then to take part in this mysterious ceremony. It was the only time I met the Karmapa. But my wife, Amido, and I did have a chance in 2006 to visit the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim where his relics are today housed.

-purushottama

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

I have recently come across the entire story of Govind Siddharth’s visit with the Karmapa A Visit to a Tibetan Monastery.

Another post related to Govind Siddharth’s visit with the Karmapa is Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami.

And another: The Enlightenment of Govind Siddharth.

Link to site for Tibetan Black Crown Ceremony.