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A Meeting of Enlightened Beings: Magga Baba and Osho

by Chetan

In Glimpses of a Golden Childhood Osho describes the context and circumstances of his early years spent with his grandparents in rural India, and he talks of his adventures exploring consciousness. In chapter 15, Osho describes encountering a mystic who was living in His village, called Magga Baba.

Magga Baba was much revered because he was deemed to be enlightened and therefore a person of great presence and importance in his village. What was odd, though, was that Magga Baba’s only utterances to the world and his potential disciples were in the form of gibberish. No one could get any obvious clues from him as to how they could attain their own enlightenment. Magga Baba would simply sit around in the village, day after day, and occasionally announce something or other that was completely incomprehensible.

One night, with all the world asleep, Osho found Himself summoned to sit with Magga Baba, who turned to Him, spoke clearly to Him, and gave Him some powerful insights. He indicated to Osho that he was, in that moment, being recognized – from one enlightened being to another. Magga Baba said that all enlightened beings have the same challenge because they cannot directly convey to anyone what enlightenment is, they can only gesture about it. Magga Baba had chosen not to attempt to try and describe the path to enlightenment, and he wanted to impart to Osho just what a challenge lay ahead when he himself would became an enlightened Master.

A little later in Osho’s telling of this story, He describes how Magga Baba kept being “stolen” by neighboring villages; they wanted him to be “their” holy man, to sit in their village centre, and bring blessings to their community.

Many things became apparent to me through this story. One of them is, what an enormous responsibility enlightened ones carry with them in their being. And also, in any attempts they make to relate the unrelatable, how deaf and yet insistent, untrusting, oblivious, and plain foolish the world can be toward them.

When I considered the part about Magga Baba allowing himself to be “stolen,” I realised that the same thing, in much the same way, happened to Osho. So many of Osho’s disciples seem to have had trouble reconciling within themselves the period of time on the Ranch in Oregon when Osho was physically unavailable, and ostensibly the reins had been handed to “others.” (Unlike what had seemed to happen in Pune One, when Osho was available and apparently making the daily decisions for His people and commune.) This story of Magga Baba allowing people to mistreat him made me reflect on my own responsibility toward Osho.

As an enlightened Master, Osho’s whole presence is reflecting Existence back to itself so that it can experience itself consciously, at any moment, individual by individual in the context of the whole. Though I would not trade one single moment of the Ranch, I see that it gave us all an opportunity to take a deep look into how human nature can fool itself; that we all want to be blessed, but we are often reluctant to go very far in finding the real source of blessing for ourselves.

In this, as in all things, Osho reminds us to remain increasingly alert, respectful, and loving.

(This text first apperaed in Osho Viha Magazine)