Question: What’s your opinion on spiritual techniques which are supposed to make us confront ourselves?
Acharya Prashant: Which are supposed to make us to?
L1: To confront our issues. Like a lot of Osho’s practices are like that. Would you say we are still running from something, even though we say we are trying to get in touch with our fear or conditioning?
AP: It has to be more closely seen. What did Osho do? We are just trying to broaden the picture a little. He came up with a large number of new techniques. A large number of new techniques; techniques to confront oneself, techniques to be used while sleeping, while walking, while eating; techniques for practically every sphere of human activity, experience; for every hour of the day. Can we listen to what he is saying?
The fellow gave us hundreds of techniques. Instead of looking at just the techniques, can we see what he is trying to actually say? What is he saying? In giving us a technique for every hour of the day, what is he saying?
L2: Look at life as a technique.
AP: He is saying, “Every hour of the day requires a different technique”. Make it more subtle, if every hour requires a different technique then every…?
AP: Every moment requires a different technique, and that technique cannot come from a book; that technique cannot come from a guru; that technique can come only from your honesty. So, an infinite number of methods of meditation are needed. But, they all have to be your own personal methods, they cannot be bookish methods.
To have no method of meditation means to have an infinite number of methods available to you. Now everything is a method – eating is a method, talking is a method, walking is a method, swimming is a method, even hitting is a method, depends on the situation. But, the right method will be known to you only if you are surrendered, because the right method cannot be your own thought. The right method has to come from somewhere else and you have to surrender to that place, to know the right method.
Which means that it’s quite funny; which means that to know the right method of meditation, you have to be first of all meditative. So you must already be in meditation so that you know the right method of meditation. The method cannot come first, meditation comes first. And after you are already meditative, now for the sake of fun try this and that method. Now there will be a method for every moment.
See, as a person, Osho is limited – his time is limited, his body is limited, his words are limited. So, do not see what he did, see the intention, see the place from where he is coming. He is saying, “Why have you been trying these eight, twenty or two hundred poses? I am opening new doors for you; you can dance and meditate, you can shout and meditate.” If you can shout and meditate, why can’t you roll and meditate? Why can’t that be a method? I am asking you. And what do you think, had Osho lived for another thirty years, wouldn’t he have come up with two hundred more methods?
L3: Probably, maybe even more.
AP: Even more, right. That’s what he was doing all the time, bringing up new methods. Which means that there is an infinite number of methods possible. So, don’t be dumb, find them for yourself.
L3: Yes, he was very creative. Alike when I read his answer, a journalist confronts him with a question: “They are calling you a Rolls Royce Guru.” He said: “It’s fair, it’s nicer in the Rolls Royce.” Then the journalist said: “Does that mean you are Guru only for the rich?” I was thinking that he would say, “No”. But, on the contrary, he said, “Yes”. First experience everything and then when you see that nothing is working – even money and fame, then you can come. It was very interesting. But he was speaking in a specific context, I think.
AP: Everything that is said is always said in a context. In fact, the context is everything. Words taken out of context mean nothing. And what is the context? The context is the being of the Master. It is in that light that you have to look at his words; otherwise, you will misinterpret.
You look at his face, you look at his eyes, you look at the life he lived, the courage he displayed; the small things. Crisscrossing across the country, and you all know about the infrastructure that India had in the sixties, and he was using trains, roads, anything that India allows. Not a rich man, not claiming to belong to any legacy, not saying that he is the direct disciple of such and such guru. Starting as a freelancer, starting as his own man – that is what I learn from.
When you read an Osho book, remember: “Who is the author?” You have a very courageous man as the author. He didn’t go about starting a family, and have a family somewhere and still teach about this and that. And you have a nice, secure comfortableness waiting for you – one wife, three kids and here you are sitting like a god!
He lived his life. Did he spare anybody? Was he being nice anywhere? From the pope to the president, he was making enemies everywhere. And here you have people who are so sweet and so nice.
You have to know from where the words are coming; it’s easy to fake words. Somebody can copy an Osho book; I would like to look at his life first, ‘What kind of life are you living man?’
Even physically, Osho was such a beautiful man. Have you seen one of his pictures in which he is naked in the abdomen? Look at his shoulders, he was not a tall man; look at the chest, not fat. Prepared to go to the jail; prepared to run all kinds of risks. He was not an idiot, when all that was happening in the commune, it’s not as if he didn’t know. He was too smart for that. All those women couldn’t have cheated upon him. People use that as an alibi for him. They say, “Oh, Osho was in the dark, he didn’t know that all this was happening.”
I am pretty sure not only did he know; he was actually the author of all those events.
He was not someone who wouldn’t be in the center of anything. And especially he was not someone who would allow things to drift in his own commune. I am very sure he would always been on top; always the fountain head of all events. So, even all the so-called nefarious things that happened there, that poisoning, that bioterrorism…
L4: If he was the author, for what purpose?
L3: To make us discuss it, for example, to ask questions.
AP: In hindsight, it’s easy to condemn and…
L4: Am only asking, not condemning, if we are supposing, if his aim was to provoke transformation.
AP: Shiva (one of the listeners), all I can say is, even god doesn’t know what shape time can take. Krishna asks Arjun to fight, would you be still equally interested in the Gita had Arjun been killed on ‘day one’? Krishna would have looked like such an idiot. The fellow was prepared to peacefully run away, you made him fight and after two hours he is dead.
So, you never know what the outcome would be. If the outcome looks like a success to the world, you are hailed; otherwise, you are criticized. People would have said, “Krishna was a violence monger, he unnecessarily incited Arjun to fight.” You do a few things, you do not know the result. You only know that they must be done, in faith, you run the risk.
L3: So, what would be the essence of the Gita?
AP: Don’t be shy of the fight. Don’t think that niceness is a virtue. Your hands should not be like this, they should rather be holding the Sudarshan chakra, fight! The world is Kurukshetra, and this is no pose to be there; this is the pose – fight!
L4: But on the other hand, Ashtavakra Gita is like this. (depicts a peaceful posture)
AP: No, not at all. Ashtavakra Gita is like this – Chill, relax.
L4: I am not the expert. (laughingly)
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: What do you think of Osho?