Dec.11,1931 --- Jan.19,1990
(His samadhi epitaph)
We talk about Buddha, Shiva, Rama, Krishna, Mahavira and other sages, saints and masters of the past. Similarly, we talk about Maitreya, Kalki of the future. But we tend to ignore or at best, underestimate the present masters of our time. A habit has formed rejecting masters at present simply because we have our own image of an enlightened master; our own model that refuses to accept a master just because of our notion, 'if I cant be enlightened, no one else can.' This deep rooted refusal is one of the primary reasons for chaos and pessimism in the world today.
On the other hand, we are so weak to trust ourselves our mind fears to become independent.Thus we are vulnerable to being exploited in the name of enlightenment
General western mind is indulged in excessive rationalization, analysis and logic whereas general eastern mind is busy in over dependence, inferiority and blind faith. What we need is a third mind, free of any excess. No one else has epitomized it better than Osho Rajneesh. And no one else has been perhaps more misunderstood.
His vision of 'Zorba the Buddha' is the ultimate man. A man who is capable of enjoying life and its offerings like Zorba and also, a man who is capable of understanding the highest truth of existence like Buddha. Rich in both, Zorba the Buddha is in fact a complete and united man.
Rajneesh changed his name to Osho later in his life. After having read William James use the word 'Oceanic,' meaning 'becoming ocean', he felt it would be more appropriate if the emphasis was on the experiencer who was aware of becoming ocean. He thus changed his name to Osho, the eternal experiencer, the eternal witness.
Osho didn't propose a new teaching nor expounded a school. What he did was convey the teachings of past masters and modern like J. Krishnamurthi, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Ramana Maharshi etc. with his original, one-pointed commentaries. Original because he was a rebel ------ a spiritual rebel who broke the barriers of traditional commentary. One-pointed because whatever he said, he did, it was a pointer towards one goal: Know your true nature, be aware of yourself, just recognise.
For this, he used teachings of Buddha, Krishna, Gorakh, Patanjali, Mahavira, Shiva, Nanak, Tilopa, Kabir, and so on. In new light, he explained Vedanta, Tantra, Sutra, Yoga, Meditation and so forth. He narrated stories, fables, parables, songs, poetry, humor and many more. No one else has embraced and imbibed truth via so many diverse practices. To add, he was blessed with remarkable oratory gift, extraordinary way with words and exceptional ability to organise thoughts. He read voraciously except for the last twenty years of his life. In short, he was a spiritual museum.
While talking and practising Osho, one cant exclude the contradictions, inconsistencies, and complexities. On the surface, they seem like his incompetence but at the deeper level, all was deliberate, consciously done. Those inconsistencies and contradictions were there to demonstrate weakness of human language to describe the ultimate and its paths. He used to say that we look for the organized, readymade, rational, clarity, directness, consistency and simplicity whereas the Absolute is also about disoriented, unexpected irrational, vague, non-evident, disordered and complex. Why care for all this? Just be yourself, conscious of yourself with nothing else at least for a while. Once you get the taste of this pure consciousness, everything will fall into place. Why do you need to ascribe things, label them and tag them, according to the interests of your mind? Let things be themselves. Let you be yourself, just pure yourself, untainted with anything else. Osho is a paradox. As paradoxes are means to conve exact meaning, Osho is paradox supreme.
Another outstanding quality of Osho is his total submission or acceptance of a theme. In his spiritual practices, he refers to it by "Let Go." 'Letting Go' means keeping nothing, hundred percent emptying of mind, at least for a few moments, to start with. This is probably the Everest of his Himalayan spiritual journeys. This trait can be seen when he is dwelling on teachings of various masters. When he talks about Buddha, he is totally immersed in Buddha and his teachings. He says Shakyamuni is the best amongst the masters. It is the same with Krishna, Shiva, Nanak, Zaroaster, Mahavira, Jesus, Patanjali, Tilopa, Sarahapa, Bodhidharma, Gurdjieff, Gorakh, Kabir, Meera, Shankaracharya, Ashtavakra, Abraham, Moses, Nagarjuna, Milarepa, Laotze, and the list just goes on. You just choose one as per your temperament and proceed.
This is also to enable listeners to have hundred percent loyalty and faith towards their masters and teachings. Besides, Osho experiences and understands that essence of teachings of above mentioned masters is same, after all.
Finally, I would like to quote a verse from Ashtavakra Gita which Osho considered a MahaGita (Great Gita). This verse perhaps sums up his personality and teachings.
prakasho me nijamrupam naatiriktoasmyaham tatah
yadaprakashate viswam tadaaham bhasayeva hi
chapter2, verse 8
Light is my very own nature. I am not apart from it. Thus, the world experienced by me is myself in essence.