SAT CHIT ANAND
OSHO COMMUNE, PUNE, INDIA
“The moment you become enlightened you are no longer an individual. You lose your ego, and with the ego you lose all your limits, all your boundaries. You cease to be a wave in the ocean of consciousness. You become the very ocean of consciousness itself. You are the same ocean as I am. You are as oceanic as anyone who has realised his ultimate, his sat-chit-anand. We are not separate. We belong to one existence without any demarcation lines. All limitations are mind projections. The flowers are your flowers, the greatness of the stars is your greatness, and the smallness of the grass leaves is your smallness. The moment you start feeling this universalness, you have come home.” [Osho]
OSHO, MAN AND MASTER
Osho was a contemporary spiritual mystic, who spoke for over 30 years to devoted disciples and spiritual seekers. He was a master teacher with a talent for combining stories and anecdotes with his teachings, thereby making them accessible to everyone. He was light and playful, with a great sense of humour (so don’t take him too seriously). Osho gave discourses on all religions and mystic traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, Taoism. He spoke about enlightenment and enlightened mystics, ancient and modern. He spoke about meditation, yoga, consciousness, psychology, politics - Osho spoke about just about everything. He taught a path to awakening that transcends the boundaries of different religions. He was not limited by nor confined to any particular religion. The Ultimate is beyond name and form and description that we impose on it. The best experience of it is silence.
“When there is tremendous silence, God is within you and you are fulfilled. In deep silence, the duality disappears and the world becomes one. That oneness is God. And to live in that oneness, is to be a Buddha.” [Osho]
Osho Commune International is like a beautiful pond that people from all over the world flow into. When you enter the gates, you leave the world behind and you enter a different world - the World of Osho. Beware, you will never be the same again! Osho ‘left the body’ in 1990, some years before we came to the Commune, so we never met him physically ‘in the body’, but connected directly with his presence, which is very strong on the Commune. The ashram is large, like a university campus, with many buildings housing different faculties: School for Creative Arts; School for Centering and Zen Martial Arts; Centre for Transformation; International Academy of Healing Arts; Institute for Love and Consciousness; Meditation Academy; School of Mysticism. There are several vegetarian restaurants, coffee shops, gift shop, bookshop, library, internet café, and sports facilities including tennis courts and swimming pool. The buildings are surrounded by beautiful gardens, ponds with graceful white swans, fountains and intimate benches where one can sit and contemplate life.
Osho had style – he was not called the ‘Rolls Royce Guru’ for nothing! His ashram is a beautiful spiritual oasis for seekers of the Truth. Osho was an authentic Indian guru, who combined the magic and mystery of India with the style and sophistication appealing to most Westerners. The Osho Meditation Resort is a five star destination for discerning spiritual seekers who are still attached to the comfort and convenience of a Western lifestyle. It is one of the largest spiritual growth centres in the world with hundreds of meditations, classes, groups, therapies and trainings. There is something for everybody. This is a spiritual supermarket deluxe! Counsellors are available to help plan your schedule of daily meditations and courses, depending on your needs, time and finances.
Some courses focus on the body, such as reiki, rebalancing, craniosacral balancing, chakra balancing, Tibetan pulsation, breath training, shamanic energy work, martial arts, tai chi and chi kung, reflexology, and various types of holistic massage. Some courses focus on the mind and include meditation and awareness training. Some courses focus on developing your creativity, through painting, music and dance. They help you to get in touch with your creativity and express the unique and original creation that you are. Some courses are healing, and help you release repressed emotions and negative limiting patterns from the past. Some courses are therapeutic, and are designed to help you get in touch with yourself, and discover your inner beauty and Buddha nature.
“Unless you know yourself, and you are yourself,
your life has not blossomed, it has not flowered -
you have not fulfilled your destiny.” [Osho]
DISCOURSES AND MEDITATIONS
There are morning and evening discourses. Special white robes are worn to the evening gathering of the Osho White Robe Brotherhood. A beautiful atmosphere is created on the ashram, with everybody floating serenely around in flowing white robes, like human candles coming to receive and carry the light. The evening starts with dancing to live music played by Osho sanyassins. This is followed by a short silent meditation, and then a huge electronic image of Osho talks for about 2 hours. After the discourse there is more music and dancing. An amazing spiritually nourishing alternative to your usual evening entertainment!
Meditation is seen as the essence of spiritual life. Daily meditations are held in Buddha Hall and are free of charge: dynamic, vipassana, kundalini, nadabrahma, Sufi whirling, no-mind and samadhi meditations. Osho developed some unique meditation techniques, specifically designed for contemporary life. They allow modern man to experience the silence of meditation more easily. Many of his meditations have an active stage before the silent sitting stage, the purpose of which is to release body and mind tensions, so that a peaceful and thought-free state of mind can be experienced. In this way, Osho makes meditation available to people who have no prior experience and might find it difficult to sit still and silently. A taste of ‘no-mind’ and you will know that this state of mind is worth cultivating.
“The totally conscious mind is qualitatively different from your unconscious mind. Hence it has been called ‘no-mind’ - just to show the difference, otherwise you will get confused. And from no-mind blossoms flowers of unselfishness, of love, of compassion, of sharing, virtue, truth, everything you can conceive of …” [Osho]
KNOW THYSELF, HEAL THYSELF
You come to the ashram looking for enlightenment, and quickly realise just how unenlightened you are! Your mind is full of nonsense, and you are completely caught up in and identified with your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Your unenlightened behaviour is highlighted in ways that you cannot avoid … so best learn how to meditate and deal with your mind, so you can start becoming its master instead of its victim. An enlightened person is Master of his being. This is a great place to start a spiritual journey, to open your mind and release it from limiting beliefs, and to explore different spiritual paths.
Osho sanyassins are warm, loving, carefree people, and they create a warm, loving, carefree atmosphere on the Commune, an open and loving space. It is a gift to experience a place where people have open hearts and minds. Here is a place where people smile, laugh, hug and care for each other. Here is a place where you feel accepted no matter who you are, where you come from, what you do. Here is a place to find yourself, if you have lost touch with yourself and no longer know who you are. Here is a place where you are free to be yourself, however that expresses itself in the moment. This experience of freedom is wonderfully supportive, healing and nourishing. The Commune remains Osho’s gift to the world – a place where people have the freedom to experiment, a place that supports you in your growth and transformation. Such places are rare and precious … I remain grateful to Osho for creating such an open space, where people can come to seek their own answers.
“I cannot give you the answer. The answer will come to you, and it is true only when it comes to you. Truth has to be one’s own, only then does it liberate.” [Osho]
We became Osho sanyassins in January 1998 at the Commune. Maurice received the name VEET DIGANT, meaning ‘gone beyond the horizon’. It reminds him to keep on moving, because the journey is endless and there are always new horizons to seek and explore. I received the name JIVAN LEELA, meaning ‘the Divine play of life’. It reminds me to be light and playful, and not to take life too seriously. I have gone onto a more ‘serious study’ of Buddhism, because your journey takes you deeper, but always try to retain the lightness of Leela.
Photos by Maurice Barker