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A Real Sannyasin Celebration?
Rashid gives his views.

Beloveds Paritosh & Parmartha,

My friends, why do we need a meeting of sannyasins? The esoteric way is individual and lonely. Sure its great to meet with fellow travellers; we challenge and support each other on the way. But a symposium, a convention is for the exoteric, for those who want to make a business or a cult or a "movement", or just need to score. Unwittingly I find myself embattled on many fronts in this sannyasin world. In Pune I totally resent the thrust towards a sanitised and Osho-free teaching. In New York I totally resent the bid to create and control an Osho copyright or trademark, (and while we're on the subject, how is it that everywhere you go in India you see Osho books for sale, on every station bookstall, in the smart hotels, even with the pavement bookseller outside a temple gate, whereas thanks to our western brothers, late of London, St James, and now expensively installed in New York, (after dispensing huge amounts of whose money?), how is it that in Exeter a large city with two national chain bookstores and half a dozen independent ones, no bookseller has even heard of Osho?) And on other fronts there are the Santa Fe defectors, there are the its time to move on and get real renegades, there are those who deny the potential of other Masters, those who give no credence to already enlightened sannyasins, and those who take Osho's words and deny their author. Phew!

Lots of love to you guys, Rashid

Rashid to Viha Connection magazine on the same topic (July, 2001)

Beloved Viha,

Events are pushing me to clarify the many thoughts and feelings that I have around the Santa Fe reunion and the utterances of many former sannyasins. I am surprised how I react; sometimes passionately, often with diverse emotions and usually with inner contradictions. Perhaps Viha Connection should field an Agony Aunt for the psychically confused.

Here's what is going on for me: When I first heard about the Santa Fe reunion I felt a touch of low-grade outrage. I said to myself, 'Those renegades! I would not want to hang out with them even if I was invited. And I haven't been invited! Three years a resident in Pune I and why haven't I been invited?' See the problem? After the event I read some emails and the articles in Viha. I thought, 'Why don't they say it? Why don't they write the name? All I see is mutual self-congratulations! Why no mention of the single greatest magnet in the lives of all these little metal filings?

It gets worse. . Shortly after reading about the Santa Fe event, I had a visit from a friend, a Pune I sannyasin who had ended up as some sort of administrator for Somendra. Somendra was one of the former sannyasin group leaders who had left OSHO to set up what seemed to me to be their own look-alike communes, without acknowledging the Master's gifts and teachings. I could not understand at the time how any friend could seek a job with one of the seceders, while Osho was still here offering his understandings and his love and his magnificence. Now, as it happened, this old friend called by on her way to visit Savita (from accounts), the one who was extradited to the States and served a term in prison for various federal offences she was said to have committed on the Ranch. More feelings welled up. For both these women and the group leaders, I have had, and still can find, a certain warmth, a certain understanding and respect. And mixed with that, a flock of judgements circling around betrayal and denial. I also had a call around that time from someone who used to be Samya, a Jesus Grove co-ordinator on the Ranch. She was so inspired, she said, by Santa Fe's success that she wanted to do the same for England.


I gave her 20 or so Pune 1 phone numbers. When I replaced the phone I felt an overwhelming sense of self-disgust. My charge with her is that she worked in Jesus Grove with Sheela, sitting in on meetings that eventually destroyed the commune and had Osho incarcerated. And now she wants to host a Pune I reunion! Without referring to the O-man! Are you confused as well?

Then I went to Amsterdam and spent an evening with an old friend, Doctor Megha, who was incarcerated in Desiderata on the Ranch, falsely diagnosed as having AIDS. He has been through much since then, including a lot of negativity, and yet for him I only feel acceptance. I don't know why my heart discriminates. Next day I went to the Rijksmuseum. I stood an hour or so in front of Rembrandt's self portrait. When I was an art student he was as a master to me. Through his compassion and his patience and his still, unjudging eye, he moved me on to see and settle with my greater Master, Osho. Beside this large self portrait is another painting of a bearded man in white who seems to shrug and turn away from us. Our eyes are led towards a crowded space behind the man. One figure is outstanding in that crowd, silhouetted, hands bound tight behind his back. He is half-turned towards us, looking over his shoulder, looking towards the white-robed figure, looking past him to some soldiers in their glinting armour and then looking past them to the viewer. Looking to me. I am in tears. I am sobbing to the limits of my universe. This painting is entitled 'Peter denying Christ.' The cock has crowed.

I don't know. Does anyone know? All these judgements, all these attitudes, opinions, feelings, thoughts, and definitions don't add up to an even number. We had a person in our midst who lived beyond dualities. With him we lived, in part, the magic of that state. The commune was destroyed, the Master's body poisoned by whoever. Now we're on our own without the Buddha or the Sangha. We have just the Dharma for our guidance on this journey home. I don't know. Who can? Maybe the clarity I seek is in the understanding that it doesn't matter that I don't.

It must be time to meditate!

Love, Rashid