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The Lion’s Roar

A Response to being banned, by Swami Dhyan Giten

For some years I have contributed with articles to Sannyasworld.com. I was therefore very surprised to read in an article with the head line “A response to OIF’s letter” written by Gorakh, webmaster of Sannyasworld, that I was “banned” from Sannyasworld. The article states that the reason for this is that I and several other sannyasins has headed of in a direction that is not in tune with the policy of Sannyasworld. My name was also mentioned together with people that are banned from the resort in Pune.

I found the fact that Sannyasworld mentioned my name in the article lacking love and respect.

I made a written complaint to Gorakh saying that I think a public apology would be in order. Gorakh first replied that he admitted that it was wrong to use my name in this context. He also said that I was not “banned” – and never was – but that is actually what I understand from the article – and that is also what readers will understand, but he has not made a public apology.

In his last mail to me Gorakh also says that he will “clarify matters in my own way on the site”. I considered this a threat and have sent a copy to my lawyer. If Gorakh uses my name again in a manner that lacks love and respect, a case will be filed against him with the Swedish authorities. I have also decided not to contribute will more articles to Sannyasworld.

This case only confirms my feeling that the greatest problem for the sannyas movement is that intelligent people are leaving.

I agree with many things that Gorakh say in the article about Osho International. I cooperate with professional people both in the therapeutic and the business field. I also cooperate with serveral publishers both in Sweden and in the US, so the business area that Osho International work in is not unfamiliar to me, but their business practice with threats and law suits is not very professional. There is a large difference between outer law and the inner law of the heart, of a disciple sharing the words of his Master.

After I made the complaint to Gorakh, he has also given permission to Sannyasnews to reproduce the article again with my name included. I made a complaint to Parmartha, editor of Sannyasnews, which I know as an intelligent person which I respect, and through him Osho opened a door to reply to Gorakh’s article on Sannyasnews. I began writing this article by turning within myself and see what Osho wants, what the Whole wants, in this situation. The answer that came from within was that the division in sannyas needs to be healed.

My goal with objecting to the article on Sannyasworld was broader in scope than only objecting to the use of my name. I also wanted to raise the whole topic of the ugly “ban”-tradition. I also understood from Gorakhs mails that a lot of rumours and misunderstandings are behind this.

And how do you heal the division in sannyas? For me it seems that sannyas has gotten stuck in an attitude of separation, fear and denial.
An attitude of separation, fear and denial. Healing is pure love in essence. Love is what creates healing. Love is the strongest force there is. The sheer presence of love is in itself healing. It is more the absence of love – than the presence of love – which creates problems. Healing is a quality, which we can freely share without any ownership. Healing is not something that we can claim as our own; healing is to be a medium, a channel, for the whole.

The human heart is a healer, which heals others and ourselves. It is the hearts quality of love, acceptance and compassion plus communication through words, which creates healing. Words which come from the heart create healing. A silent listening with a quality of presence and an accepting attitude creates space for healing to happen.

I shared the issue about Sannyasworld and the “ban”-tradition with sannyasins through mail. I also sent copies to Osho International in New York, Osho World in Delhi, Osho Nisarga in Himalaya, Osho Global Connections in Pune, Sannyasnews, Sannyasworld and Osho Tapoban in Nepal.

I got this response from a female sannyasin: "I passed your letter's on (to other sannyasins), but it seems sannyasins are afraid to give open comments, afraid of being banned, afraid of being free."

It seems the fear of being “banned” is a very effective way to control and manipulate sannyasins. The Catholic Church also uses this method effectively by excommunicating people.

I have taught people to trust themselves, to trust their heart and their truth for almost 20 years, because that is what Osho has taught me. It is not always easy to follow your heart, but it always leads you right.

As I have said before, I was also one of the few sannyasins who choose to follow my own heart, to follow my own love, intelligence and truth, and who did not in any way support the former Sheela-fiasco in the sannyas movement. For this courage and integrity, I received a lot of negativity and projections from the Swedish Osho Commune. Even now, not one of these people have taken any responsibility and apologized for this foolishness. I asked a direct question to one former member of the board of the Swedish Osho Commune about this, but she did not think that she had any personal responsibility.

As I see it, sannyasins have two options: either to be critical of what is happening in the sannyas movement or to deny what is happening. Most of the sannyasin therapists, the elite of the sannyas movement, seem also to choose the later option, because to be critical would create problems for them working as therapists.

The gift of healing comes when we see the other person with love and compassion. It is the quality of heart, which creates the love and the genuine caring for the other person. When our words are carried by the quality of heart, you can say almost anything to the other person and he will still be able to be open and receptive. But if our words lack the quality of heart, it also becomes difficult for the other person to continue to be open and receptive. Even if a therapist is very skilful on a technical plane or have a clear clairvoyant ability and still lacks the natural roots in the soil of the heart, then his words will not touch the heart of the other person.

Basically I do this for myself - and for my own relation to Osho, to love and truth. As Osho has said, sannyas is not about belonging to an organization, it is a personal relationship to Osho, to love, truth and the Whole.

In closing, I want also to make absolutely clear that I do not support the whole ugly ban-tradition. I do not support the ban of either Arun or Keerti, who is mentioned in the article on Sannyasworld. I shared my experience of the "Sheela-fiasco" with Arun some time ago and I received a very beautiful reply. I did not even know that he was "banned" then. So let me make it absolutely clear that I do not mean that my name was used in an ugly context, because it was mentioned together with people who are "banned".
Swami Dhyan Giten

Swami Dhyan Giten has 20 years of experience in teaching
awareness and meditation, author of the book Song of Meditation
– About Meditation, Relationships and Spiritual Creativity
(Solrosens forlag, Swedish Edition, 2001), www.giten.net

Here are some quotations from Osho which support my argument:

"Now countries are trying to prevent me even from landing at their airports; the question of entry into the country does not arise. Even countries about which I have never thought...
Just today Anando informed me that Venezuela -- I have never thought about it! -- has passed a resolution that I am banned, I cannot enter into the country. Even in Ireland, where we were for two weeks, the government is now denying it. They are not even courageous enough to say, "Yes, they were here and they are gone." They are denying, saying, "They have not been here. How could they enter into the country? -- because they are banned." Just as we left they must have passed some resolution in the parliament to ban us."
Osho, Beyond Psychology #23

A Sufi mystic wrote a book on the Koran. It was opposed by all the authorities, by the official religion. They banned it, they made it a crime to read it. It was sacrilegious, they thought, dangerous, because he was interpreting the Koran in such a way as nobody had ever interpreted it. He was going against the tradition.
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha Vol. 1 #2

I want you not to be sheep, but lions. I want you to roar about the experience, because the world is so deaf that unless you roar they won't pay any attention. And the moment you mention my name, even if they are dead, they will wake up! Without my name, they will feel goody-goody, and you will feel very goody-goody. But only with my name, will you be able to judge whether those people have any intelligence, any awareness, any understanding, or whether they are just mediocre people with prejudiced minds.
Share without being miserable, without being miserly, and share with authority. You have nothing to lose.
It is a tremendous challenge to change this whole earth into a paradise, but you will not be able to do that if you are cowardly or miserly. "

There are many sannyasins who remain silent and don't share just out of the fear that they may be condemned: They have also fallen from the traditional religion, from the convention," they simply remain quiet. That's not right; that is not compassionate. That is cruel. If you know something, share it for two reasons, because the humanity needs it, and the second reason is that the more you share, the more you will have of it."
Osho: The Invitation