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What about love

"Without love – devotion to God
All efforts are fruitless exercises
All meditation and austerities
Acquiring knowledge on these
Are all fruitless effort for man.
Fit only for washing down the stream;
If lust and greed reign in man
These will vanish if he sings Lord's name.
Say's Kabir, do treasure love of Lord in your heart
Throwing into sea all ritual effort"

Taken from 'Mystic Songs of Kabir' ,
compiled by G.N.Das

If you had shown this poem to Tanmayo three months ago, she may have given it a perfunctory glance, allowed its words to bounce around her mind for a while, then moved onto something more ‘interesting’.

But now, things are different.

A 21 day silence and 40 day intensive meditation camp with Swami Chaitanya Bharti (one of Osho’s first disciples and the man He asked to continue leading His meditation camps), have changed all that.

Now when she reads these words, she knows. She knows their truth. She knows because she has experienced. Not just experienced, but wept, laughed, screamed and danced herself into the realisation that ‘devotion’ is all.

From this new viewpoint, many confusions that had been bothering her ‘Sannyas’ mind have cleared.

Take for instance what’s been going down at the ‘Osho Meditation Resort”, these last few years: The gradual removal of Osho’s pictures from the wall or the scoring out of 4 letter words like ‘love’ or ‘Osho’ in the songs we used to sing. Or what about the strange disappearance of the empty chair? Or the commercial Techno parties to attract the ‘Bombay crowd’, that have sprouted up instead of heartfelt celebrations on Osho’s birth and death days.

And what about the slick replacements that have been cleverly slid into place. The ‘cool dry awareness’ that has become the latest ‘sannyas’ mantra. The sterile Pyramid that has squashed the last remaining flowers of Osho’s garden. The corporate climate that now ‘rains’…

I mean logically it sounds OK. After all, we don’t want Osho’s Dream to become a religion, do we?… Got to move with the times, change is good, Chariveti, Chariveti…

But hang on a minute… Something is not OK Something is missing Haven’t they thrown the baby out with the bath water?

Let me share a secret with you.

Osho is still with us He still loves us, He’s still taking care.

It’s OK to whisper His name, To sing his name, to SHOUT his name. It’s OK

It’s OK to gaze at His Beloved face – to weep as we feel His love come shining through.

It’s OK to celebrate His birthday, His deathday…

It’s OK to sit by His empty chair, to bow down at his feet, to shed tears of gratitude To adorn His image with flowers, to offer ourselves to Him, totally, utterly, forever…

His dream lives on.

But not in the hands of those to whom it would appear He had left it.

Or perhaps, as is the nature of dreams, He left that which was illusory with those who could see only that which was illusory.

The real gems, the real treasure, was entrusted to people, altogether very different.

Picture the scene:

It’s January 19th 2003. For the last 40 days, 50 seekers from diverse countries and backgrounds as an Indian farmer, a Norwegian choreographer, an Iranian artist, and a Bombay fashion journalist, have been meditating, melting together. Meditating in Goa. Meditating near a secluded beach. Meditating in a small hall open to the wind. Makeshift bamboo walls and sandy floor. At the fore a huge picture of Osho, head tilted back, eyes closed .beneath a basket containing the flowers that had adorned His photo the last month, to the front, a flame that has been burning, flickering , constantly for 40 days – since being lit way back on 11th December…

It has see many things since then – Boundaries of class, country and conditioning have long since melted away.

Vast oceans of tears, outpourings of grief, shouts of anger, confused questioning, joyous laughter, ecstatic dancing, spontaneous concerts from sannyas music wizards, Prem Joshua and Manish Vyas, silence, flashes of clarity, and wise, wise words from Swamijii as he coaxed us, cajoled us, tempted us to ask ourselves again and again, Who am I?

Yet throughout the flame has remained constant.

As the air fills with incense and seekers enter in white, adorned with garlands of marigolds, Swamijee move to the flame. It is 5.30pm, (around the time Osho is said to have left His body). With one solid clap above, He extinguishes it.

“Friends” he says, “Osho has left His body. The flame of His consciousness is no more. While death down the ages has been seen as something difficult, Osho has asked that we should celebrate this moment.”

We watch, frozen in time as He lifts the basket of flowers – His master’s body – on His head, and starts to walk towards the ocean.

Osho may have wanted us to celebrate, but not one dry eye is left in the house.

In shock, in floods of tears, in perhaps the most powerful moment in many of our lives, we follow our beloved Guide, down the crooked camp site steps, across the rickety bamboo bridge and over the Goan sand to the shore.

The Golden orange sun that has warmed us these last 40 days is dipping into the sea and a full, full moon is waiting to rise behind.

He gives us each an armful of flowers which we cast into the ocean…

Osho to Ocean….

Then we sit on the wet sand and watch silently, still, as the foamy waves carry the flowers slowly, slowly,…slowly……slowly……away.

Some had known Osho from the beginning, many had never met Him, some had missed being present the day He left His body..but all were touched, moved, filled with gratitude and love. And in that exquisite, timeless, blessed moment, not one of us doubted that Osho, our beloved master, was there, Silent, waiting, watching, Within our very own hearts.

Later, in fresh white robes, de-sanded and dry we meet to dance, wildly, ecstatically, joyously… And then, again, for the last time together, we plunge the depths of a silence that has become more and more our companion…

As the meditation draws to a close, Swamijii taps on his mike to call us back. “That which has a beginning always comes to an end”, he reminds us, ” but the true seeker is one who searches for that which is never born and never dies”. Then he stands up and silently leaves the hall.

We find our eyes transfixed on the empty chair he leaves behind.

The empty chair is everything.

We find ourselves bowing and weeping…

So to return to Kabir and his mystic song. Why not try replacing ‘Lord’ or ‘God’ with ‘Osho’ and see how it sounds..

Enough said?

I rest my case