There are many things towards which we have prejudices or predilections without experiencing it. One such word is ‘Osho’. Different people, different views. What I’ll try here is to dispel the darkness and give you an unambiguous picture of what it really is. I recently paid ‘The Osho Ashram’ in Mehsana (Gujarat) a visit.
In the suburbs of Mehsana, lies a high walled enclosure which is enshrined by a picture of Osho. Once you enter the premises, multitude photographs of Osho will be surrounding you; the photo in itself exuding a kind of glow which is very rare to see. If you haven’t seen his picture yet, he’s pretty similar to the Hogwart’s principal, Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter tale. The ashram is nothing less than a five star resort when it is compared in terms of cleanliness and system. Lush green lawns, flowers in their full bloom and a labyrinth of pavements criss-crossing through a garden and a waterfall leave you breathless.
So how is it different? I was introduced to the concept of commune living here. What this means is that a group of people live here permanently forming their own little community and dividing their labour on an equal scale. Every task is considered humble. Contact with the outside world is minimal. Guests are allowed in cottages throughout the year and they can experience a different style of living. Food is simple and there are five meditation sessions daily which are not compulsory but you’d attend them anyways because there isn’t much more to do. There is no television or bar or other regular sources of entertainment to which many of us are accustomed and so not attending these sessions after coming here wouldn’t make any sense. What osho preaches has a scientific base and it is not a religion. Osho’s philosophy doesn’t preach any god or for that matter, even a physical form of god. What it tells you is to wake up and be aware of yourself. People end their lives in slumber without any knowledge. People should use their energies fruitfully and channelize their energy into the right direction with conviction. Osho isn’t against materialism and as a proof of that, you can find air conditioned cottages and even extravagant merc’s within the commune. You’ll also find biscuits and soft drinks in the ‘zorbas’ which are within the commune. To make it simpler and lighter I’ll list down a few points which will make your decision of either paying the ashram a visit or not a bit easier.
Reasons to go:
1) If you’re tired of the daily hustle and bustle. The peace and calmness here is beyond the point of imagination. It’s like some exotic Himalayan peak (the only difference being the temperature).
2) If you want your own space. People respect your space here. You’re left with ample amount to do whatever you wish to.
3) If you want to visualize a fight between the religious pandit, pujari’s and the creative artists. I’d a very vivid image of this while Osho thrashed this Pujari’s for fooling people with havan’s and Puja’s. He says that artists who are fully involved in their creation are much closer to god than these religious fools. Whatever you do, fall in love with it or rather do the thing which you love to do.
4) If you want your daily dose of what I call ‘The Mithun dance’. You’re bound to be a witness to this dance during the meditation sessions when many of the devotees burst out into fits of joy and lose all their inhibitions to dance as if there’s no tomorrow. And you can giggle your guts out because you have your space! But don’t overdo it.
5) If you love to sleep. There’s no one to disturb you. Sleep. Sleep. Zzzz… Sleep until time starts decelerating.
Reasons for giving it a miss:
1) If you think that you’ll be engulfed by the cult. Yes. For sure. It is a cult. If the worldly matters are not enough for you to keep going, don’t go. You might become one of Osho’s and join the commune.
2) If you can’t handle too much peace and if you’re an insomniac. Because there’s not much to do other than think and eat and sleep.
3) If you like watching television for more than two hours a day and if you like watching serial’s like big boss and rakhi ka whatever… Don’t go. There’s too much for you on t.v.
4) If you like digging your nose. You’ll have so much time on your hands that your hands will desperately try to use it to fill them with something else…
5) If un-waxed female legs are a turn off for you and you can’t stand it. You’ll find a few of those.
On a more serious note, I’d advise anyone who wants a different view at life, a stay for at least a couple of days. The lectures which are shown are not some religious gospels preaching superstitions and sayings which have very little practical meaning. The philosophy of Osho finds corroboration in the thoughts of great thinkers like H.G.Wells and Karl Marx. I’ll cite a simple example, who runs everything? What Osho says is that there is no supreme being. Everything runs on itself and that is how it is meant to be. If there is a Supreme Being, the question will arise as to who runs this Supreme Being? And it will lead to an infinite loop. So instead of unnecessarily complicating things it is easier to accept that things make themselves happen. A perfectly logical conclusion!
Just go there and experience something mystical. Your brain wheels will start churning and you’ll return to the world with renewed vigour. Because what Osho (or that’s what I understood) says is that living in the world worldlessly and still being at the top of the world is the way to live and leave your mark.
Discretion: If you are aware of these things and believe you’re already at that stage of awareness. Kudos! Go to the ashram for a week. You’ll love it. For those who found the above statement Latin, go for a couple of days to decipher the code and get the experience.