This space is dedicated to some major authors concerning EASTERN SPIRITUALITY
such as Buddhism, Zen, Taoism. Jainism, Hinduism, Sufism, Tantra, Vedanta, Kabir,
and many others.
One author Osho/Rajneesh has over 600 books and offers many comentaries/interpretations of many Eastern Sutras. We include his works here even though Osho/Rajneesh himself is a very controversial author.
WARNING WARNING WARNING
Two perspectives: one from the Osho organization: Autobiography of an Spiritually Incorrect Mystic; and, Dimensions Beyond the Known;
and, the other: Bhagwan: The God that Failed, by Hugh Milne (an expose by a top insider concerning the history of Rajneesh’s Ashrams in India and the USA: a true mind-blower, with great details about what happened in the Oregon Ashram/Community).
P.S. I created a new website: OshoInspirations.com but DELETED the entire site AFTER reading Hugh’s book. He seemed honest and objective and showed the criminal results of the Federal and State investigations of the Oregon project.
Appraisal by scholars of religion
Academic assessments of Rajneesh’s work have been mixed and often directly contradictory. Uday Mehta saw errors in his interpretation of Zen and Mahayana Buddhism, speaking of “gross contradictions and inconsistencies in his teachings” that “exploit” the “ignorance and gullibility” of his listeners. The sociologist Bob Mullan wrote in 1983 of “a borrowing of truths, half-truths and occasional misrepresentations from the great traditions”… often bland, inaccurate, spurious and extremely contradictory”. American religious studies professor Hugh B. Urban also said Rajneesh’s teaching was neither original nor especially profound, and concluded that most of its content had been borrowed from various Eastern and Western philosophies. George Chryssides, on the other hand, found such descriptions of Rajneesh’s teaching as a “potpourri” of various religious teachings unfortunate because Rajneesh was “no amateur philosopher”. Drawing attention to Rajneesh’s academic background he stated that; “Whether or not one accepts his teachings, he was no charlatan when it came to expounding the ideas of others.” He described Rajneesh as primarily a Buddhist teacher, promoting an independent form of “Beat Zen” and viewed the unsystematic, contradictory and outrageous aspects of Rajneesh’s teachings as seeking to induce a change in people, not as philosophy lectures aimed at intellectual understanding of the subject.
Similarly with respect to Rajneesh’s embracing of western counter-culture and the human potential movement, though Mullan acknowledged that Rajneesh’s range and imagination were second to none, and that many of his statements were quite insightful and moving, perhaps even profound at times, he perceived “a potpourri of counter-culturalist and post-counter-culturalist ideas” focusing on love and freedom, the need to live for the moment, the importance of self, the feeling of “being okay”, the mysteriousness of life, the fun ethic, the individual’s responsibility for their own destiny, and the need to drop the ego, along with fear and guilt. Mehta notes that Rajneesh’s appeal to his Western disciples was based on his social experiments, which established a philosophical connection between the Eastern guru tradition and the Western growth movement. He saw this as a marketing strategy to meet the desires of his audience. Urban, too, viewed Rajneesh as negating a dichotomy between spiritual and material desires, reflecting the preoccupation with the body and sexuality characteristic of late capitalist consumer cultureand in tune with the socio-economic conditions of his time.
The British professor of religious studies Peter B. Clarke said that most participators felt they had made progress in self-actualisation as defined by American psychologist Abraham Maslow and the human potential movement. He stated that the style of therapy Rajneesh devised, with its liberal attitude towards sexuality as a sacred part of life, had proved influential among other therapy practitioners and new age groups. Yet Clarke believes that the main motivation of seekers joining the movement was “neither therapy nor sex, but the prospect of becoming enlightened, in the classical Buddhist sense”.
In 2005, Urban observed that Rajneesh had undergone a “remarkable apotheosis” after his return to India, and especially in the years since his death, going on to describe him as a powerful illustration of what F. Max Müller, over a century ago, called “that world-wide circle through which, like an electric current, Oriental thought could run to the West and Western thought return to the East”. Clarke also said that Rajneesh has come to be “seen as an important teacher within India itself” who is “increasingly recognised as a major spiritual teacher of the twentieth century, at the forefront of the current ‘world-accepting’ trend of spirituality based on self-development”.
Appraisal as charismatic leader
A number of commentators have remarked upon Rajneesh’s charisma. Comparing Rajneesh with Gurdjieff, Anthony Storr wrote that Rajneesh was “personally extremely impressive”, noting that “many of those who visited him for the first time felt that their most intimate feelings were instantly understood, that they were accepted and unequivocally welcomed rather than judged. [Rajneesh] seemed to radiate energy and to awaken hidden possibilities in those who came into contact with him”. Many sannyasins have stated that hearing Rajneesh speak, they “fell in love with him”. Susan J. Palmer noted that even critics attested to the power of his presence. James S. Gordon, a psychiatrist and researcher, recalls inexplicably finding himself laughing like a child, hugging strangers and having tears of gratitude in his eyes after a glance by Rajneesh from within his passing Rolls-Royce. Frances FitzGerald concluded upon listening to Rajneesh in person that he was a brilliant lecturer, and expressed surprise at his talent as a comedian, which had not been apparent from reading his books, as well as the hypnotic quality of his talks, which had a profound effect on his audience. Hugh Milne (Swami Shivamurti), an ex-devotee who between 1973 and 1982 worked closely with Rajneesh as leader of the Poona Ashram Guard and as his personal bodyguard, noted that their first meeting left him with a sense that far more than words had passed between them: “There is no invasion of privacy, no alarm, but it is as if his soul is slowly slipping inside mine, and in a split second transferring vital information.” Milne also observed another facet of Rajneesh’s charismatic ability in stating that he was “a brilliant manipulator of the unquestioning disciple”.
Hugh B. Urban said that Rajneesh appeared to fit with Max Weber‘s classical image of the charismatic figure, being held to possess “an extraordinary supernatural power or ‘grace’, which was essentially irrational and affective”. Rajneesh corresponded to Weber’s pure charismatic type in rejecting all rational laws and institutions and claiming to subvert all hierarchical authority, though Urban said that the promise of absolute freedom inherent in this resulted in bureaucratic organisation and institutional control within larger communes.
Some scholars have suggested that Rajneesh, like other charismatic leaders, may have had a narcissistic personality. In his paper The Narcissistic Guru: A Profile of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Ronald O. Clarke, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Oregon State University, argued that Rajneesh exhibited all the typical features of narcissistic personality disorder, such as a grandiose sense of self-importance and uniqueness; a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success; a need for constant attention and admiration; a set of characteristic responses to threats to self-esteem; disturbances in interpersonal relationships; a preoccupation with personal grooming combined with frequent resorting to prevarication or outright lying; and a lack of empathy. Drawing on Rajneesh’s reminiscences of his childhood in his book Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, he suggested that Rajneesh suffered from a fundamental lack of parental discipline, due to his growing up in the care of overindulgent grandparents. Rajneesh’s self-avowed Buddha status, he concluded, was part of a delusional system associated with his narcissistic personality disorder; a condition of ego-inflation rather than egolessness.
Wider appraisal as a thinker and speaker
There are widely divergent assessments of Rajneesh’s qualities as a thinker and speaker. Khushwant Singh, an eminent author, historian, and former editor of the Hindustan Times, has described Rajneesh as “the most original thinker that India has produced: the most erudite, the most clearheaded and the most innovative”. Singh believes that Rajneesh was a “free-thinking agnostic” who had the ability to explain the most abstract concepts in simple language, illustrated with witty anecdotes, who mocked gods, prophets, scriptures, and religious practices, and gave a totally new dimension to religion. The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has called Rajneesh a “Wittgenstein of religions”, ranking him as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century; in his view, Rajneesh had performed a radical deconstruction of the word games played by the world’s religions.
During the early 1980s, a number of commentators in the popular press were dismissive of Rajneesh. The Australian critic Clive Jamesscornfully referred to him as “Bagwash”, likening the experience of listening to one of his discourses to sitting in a laundrette and watching “your tattered underwear revolve soggily for hours while exuding grey suds. The Bagwash talks the way that looks.” James finished by saying that Rajneesh, though a “fairly benign example of his type”, was a “rebarbative dingbat who manipulates the manipulable into manipulating one another”. Responding to an enthusiastic review of Rajneesh’s talks by Bernard Levin in The Times, Dominik Wujastyk, also writing in The Times, similarly expressed his opinion that the talk he heard while visiting the Poona ashram was of a very low standard, wearyingly repetitive and often factually wrong, and stated that he felt disturbed by the personality cult surrounding Rajneesh.
Writing in the Seattle Post Intelligencer in January 1990, American author Tom Robbins stated that based on his readings of Rajneesh’s books, he was convinced Rajneesh was the 20th century’s “greatest spiritual teacher”. Robbins, while stressing that he was not a disciple, further stated that he had “read enough vicious propaganda and slanted reports to suspect that he was one of the most maligned figures in history”. Rajneesh’s commentary on the Sikh scripture known as Japuji was hailed as the best available by Giani Zail Singh, the former President of India. In 2011, author Farrukh Dhondy reported that film star Kabir Bedi was a fan of Rajneesh, and viewed Rajneesh’s works as “the most sublime interpretations of Indian philosophy that he had come across”. Dhondy himself said Rajneesh was “the cleverest intellectual confidence trickster that India has produced. His output of the ‘interpretation’ of Indian texts is specifically slanted towards a generation of disillusioned westerners who wanted (and perhaps still want) to ‘have their cake, eat it’ [and] claim at the same time that cake-eating is the highest virtue according to ancient-fused-with-scientific wisdom.”
Very similar to Scientology and other spiritually corrupted gurus (like Gurudev of Kripalu Center) and organizations. See more details here about gurus/teachers/masters.
Without doubt Osho/Rajneesh was a brilliant author and well read BUT his BEHAVIOR/ACTIONS contradicted his TEACHINGS (words/concepts).
By the way I have a 60 points summary of Hugh’s book and a post on where the major folks involved in Oregon controversy are NOW. Let me know if you want a copy.
Thus, a few entries here that were based on Osho’s teachings.
7/10/19 Death and God
7/11/19 Tilopa’s Song of Mahamudra
Osho, a Tantric/Taoist/Sufi/Zen teacher, plumbs the depths of the following: 10 stanzas
Only One Sky: On the Tantric Way of Tilopa’s song of Mahamudra, by Rajneesh
Tilopa’s Mahamudra Song
Tilopa was a great Buddhist sage, living at the beginning of 11th century (988–1069) in India and a very mystical person indeed. It is believed he has received Mahamudra teachings from primordial Buddha Vajradharahimself – the primordial essence of all things, the absolute Wisdom and Compassion.
This Mahamudra Song he later transmitted to Naropa near the Ganges river, when Naropa completed his twelve austerities given by his Guru.
(A sutra is a religious teaching, usually taking the form of an aphorism or short statement of beliefs. Sutra
Later Naropa gave it to Marpa Lotsawa, who translated these teachings and brought to Tibet. Later he taught it to yogi Milarepa and many other Buddhist masters. It is considered that Mahamudra Song Of Tilopa contains the essence of all teachings.
Note: Mahamudra is the last, the Ultimate Experience, a total orgasm with the universe. AND IT IS OSHO’S COMMENTS/INTERPRETATIONS THAT BLOSSOM HERE.
1. The Ultimate Experience
Mahamudra transcends all words
And symbols, but for you, Naropa,
Earnest and loyal,
I have to say this:
The Emptiness doesn’t need support,
Mahamudra rests on nothing.
Without making any effort,
One can break the yoke
Thus – reaching Liberation.
2. The Root Problem of all Problems
If one sees nothing when staring into space,
If with the mind one then observes the mind,
One destroys distinctions and reaches Buddhahood.
The clouds that wander through the sky
Have no roots, no home; nor do the distinctive
Thoughts, which float through the mind.
Once the nature of mind is seen,
In space shapes and colours form,
But neither by black nor white is space tinged.
From the nature of mind all things emerge,
The mind is not tainted by virtues or vices.
3. The Nature of Darkness and of Light
The darkness of ages cannot hide the bright sun
Nor the long kalpas of samsara
can hide the splendid light mind.
Though words are spoken to explain the Emptiness,
Emptiness for itself can never be expressed.
Though we say “the mind is a bright light,”
It is beyond all words and symbols.
Although the mind’s nature is empty,
It embraces and contains all things.
4. Be Like a Hollow Bamboo
Do nothing with the body but relax,
Shut firm the mouth and keep silent.
Empty your mind and focus on nothingness.
Like a hollow bamboo relax your body.
Without giving or taking, put your mind to rest.
Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nothingness.
Thus practicing, you will reach Buddhahood.
5. The Innate Truth
The practice of Mantra and Paramita,
Instruction in the Sutras and Precepts,
And teaching of Schools and Scriptures will not bring
Realization of the Inner Truth.
If the mind with desire is looking to goal,
It only conceals the Light.
He who keeps Tantric Precepts,
Yet makes discriminations,
betrays the spirit of samaya.
Cease all activity,
abandon all desire,
let thoughts arise and disappear
like the waves of the ocean.
He who never harms the Non-abiding
Nor the Principle of Non-distinction,
Uphold the Tantric Precepts.
He who abandons craving
And doesn’t cling to this or that,
Realize the true meaning of Scriptures.
6. The Great Teaching
In Mahamudra all sins are burned;
In Mahamudra one is released
From the prison of this world.
This is the Dharma’s supreme torch.
Those who doesn’t believe it
Are fools who ever wallow
In misery and sorrow.
To strive for Liberation
One should rely on a Guru.
When your mind receives his blessing
Liberation is at hand.
Thus, all things of this world are insignificant,
nothing, but seeds of sorrow.
Small teachings lead you to act small;
one should follow only the great teachings.
7. The Pathless Path
Transcending duality is the vision of the king.
Conquer distractions is the practice of kings.
The path of non-practice is the way of all Buddhas.
One who travels that road reaches Buddhahood.
This world is transient,
like ghosts and dreams, without any substance.
Renounce it and forsake your kin,
cut the cords of lust and hatred
and meditate in the forests and mountains.
If without effort you remain
Loosely in the “natural state,”
Soon Mahamudra you will win
And attain the Non-attainment.
8. Cut the ROOT
Cut the root of a tree
And the leaves will wither;
Cut the root of your mind
And samsara will fall.
The light of any lamp
Dispels in a moment
The darkness of long kalpas;
The strong light of the mind
In just a flash will burn
The veil of ignorance.
Whoever clings to mind sees not
The truth of what’s beyond the mind.
Whoever strives to practice Dharma,
Finds not the truth that’s beyond the practice.
To see what is Beyond both mind and practice,
One should cut cleanly through the root of mind
And observe it naked.
One should thus break away
From all distinctions and remain at ease.
9. Beyond and Beyond
One should not give or take
But remain natural,
For Mahamudra is beyond
All acceptance and rejection.
Since Alaya is unborn,
No one can obstruct or soil it;
Staying in the “Unborn” realm
All appearance will dissolve Into the Dharmata,
And the will and pride will vanish into nothingness.
P.S. Alaya is a buddhist term, it means the abode, the inner abode, the inner emptiness, the inner sky. This is an example of WHY we need Osho’s comments and interpretations to understand this Song, as well as much of his other writings. Also, Dharmata means that everything has its own elementary nature; and, by and by, everything will dissolve into its own natural element.
10. The Supreme Understanding
transcends “this” and “that”.
The supreme action
handles all situations, without attachment.
The supreme realization
is to realize immanence without hope.
At first, the yogi feels his mind
falls as a waterfall;
half of its course flows slow and placid,
as the Ganges;
In the end,
It is a great vast ocean,
Where the Lights of Son and Mother
Merge into One.
7/12/19 Strange but Not Strange