Selected Osho quotes and guidance on representing Osho and carrying on his work
This web page [https://www.osho-meditation-bristol.co.uk/osho-24-karat/] contains selected Osho quotes and administrative guidance on how we carry on Osho’s work after his death, and how he wants to be represented. Everything is evidenced in some way from what Osho said or I (Islam) understand him to have said from my time living in Pune. If anyone has better knowledge, I am happy to correct anything here. If anyone has something they would like to see added, or a good quote, I’m happy to consider that. I’d like this to be a resource of use to people organising Osho activities anywhere in the world.
Currently especially relevant in the UK (Dec 2018) are the parts relating to therapy; only Osho and no other masters; the letter to Turyia; and Appendix 2. In this respect see the open letter to Leela: http://www.osho-meditation-bristol.co.uk/open-letter-leela/
Bristol Oct 2018
As individuals, we are free to do whatever we want
Nothing on this page is in any way about what we do individually as seekers. As individuals, everything in Osho’s world happens in freedom.
I don't have any discipline, any rules, any regulations. Somebody coming and becoming a fellow traveller is welcome. If he leaves at some crossroads, we say goodbye to him with the same joy, ecstasy, as we had when he joined us. And we tell him, "Whenever you want, the doors will always be open for you." [The Last Testament, Vol 1 Interviews with the World Press. Talks given from 16/07/85 pm to 20/08/85 pm For more, see the wonderful www.osho.com/library ]
As seekers we are free to do whatever we want, free to sit with any teacher. If we are therapists, then under our own names we can offer to the world whatever we want to offer.
If however we choose to offer Osho to the world, then we are not free in how we do that. It is Osho’s name and Osho’s work. Osho specifically wants that we offer his work under his name in his way. That is the purpose of the trademark.
Osho wants his work to continue after his death
So when I said the word has to be spread, I meant that the new man is an absolute necessity. The old is dead or is dying... cannot survive long. And if we cannot produce a new human being, then humanity will disappear from the earth -- and that will be ugly. And I told you to spread the word because they are trying every hindrance to keep me from approaching people. But I will approach people. They are mediocre politicians: they cannot prevent me. They can delay me, but they cannot stop me unless some idiot goes absolutely mad and kills me. In that case you have the word. And if I am not there, your responsibility becomes great. When I am here your responsibility is none; I can do it alone without any difficulty. But if I am not here then your responsibilities tremendously increase. Then each of you has to represent me, and we have to see how many people they can crucify. But the word has to go out because the word cannot be crucified. Ways and means have to be found for the word to reach to every corner of the earth, to every human being who can understand. The Path of the Mystic Chapter #34 Chapter title: The word cannot be crucified 21 May 1986 am in Punta Del Este, Uruguay
Osho made preparations for his work to continue after his death
In the years before he left his body, Osho set up detailed plans so his work will thrive without him in the body. Here is a quote from Anando, Osho’s secretary at the time of leaving his body. It is taken from http://www.osho.info/sites/default/files/17_3.pdf
(I do not imagine the Inner Circle are perfect and beyond criticism. However, I trust and believe what the people who spoke with Osho report that Osho directly said and did. Many of these things were announced publicly while Osho was alive.)
“Osho knew the date he would leave his body, nine months beforehand. On April 10th, 1989, after giving his discourse, he said that he felt his whole body moving away from him. He then surprised me by saying he would not be speaking again, even though he had just started a new discourse series. He left his body on January 19, 1990. Years earlier, he had explained in a discourse that approximately nine months before a person dies, depending on the length of their conception, something happens in the body, something disconnects in the hara center. He said that an awakened person would feel this, and know that death was approaching.
“Fully aware of his limited remaining time, Osho worked intensely and totally in those final nine months to create the platform for the continued expansion of his work. This is when the complete vision for the Commune, as it is now, was laid out – the maroon robes, the White Robe Brotherhood, the meditation intensives, the meditative therapies to be conducted in his Samadhi, the Multiversity, and the unique black pyramid buildings with blue glass. He outlined his plans for the Commune to expand and become a meditation resort, plus plans for the international expansion of his work. He also changed his name to just ‘Osho’ in this period.”
“24 karat” and “not knowing better”
When Osho first set up the Inner Circle, they created the “Listening Ear” in the Resort in Pune. This was a time, 11:00 – 11:30 each morning, when a member of the Inner Circle would sit in the front office in Krishna House and anybody could go in and express any concern, or give feedback. What an excellent idea! Or that’s what I thought, anyway.
But when Osho heard he said “No, stop this at once.” He didn’t want the search for godliness run according to the dreams, reactive emotions, and “Well, what **I** think is …” of the un-enlightened mind.
Osho reportedly used for situations like this the phrase “keep things 24 karat”. By that he means, that the work be run according to his enlightened no-mind, not according to our unenlightened dreams and desires and our “Well in MY humble opinion …”
Another phrase he used was that he didn’t want administrators doing his work to “know better”, based on their unenlightened mind, how to do his work than he knows based on his transcendent no-mind.
One purpose of this document is that as Osho’s work in the UK grows, we do it his way and not “well in MY humble opinion …”.
24 karat means Osho and no-one but Osho
“Keeping things 24 karat” includes that if Osho’s name is applied to something, then people get just exactly Osho and his methods and nothing else. He is really keen on this.
In terms of Osho centres doing non-Osho things, Osho said “It is fine for them to do whatever they want, but then do not use my name.” (Osho, Interviews with the World Press). [https://www.osho.com/static-informative-pages/orientation-information-osho-centers#SPRITUALAFFILIATION ]
In particular, he doesn’t want any association of his name with other enlightened teachers, even if they may be genuine.
That is not to say that as seekers we should not go to other enlightened teachers. That is our freedom. [Osho spoke a lot about masters and disciples, and it is worth reading it all. See osho.com/library ] But for sure, Osho centres should not host other teachers.
Osho’s secretary Anando put it like this (private communication):
“If you are an Osho place you are an Osho place, doing his meditations. If you want to do anything else, especially anything involving other masters and teachers, then take his name off immediately and call it something else.
(he REALLY did not like to be lumped together with anyone else or anything ‘new age’)!!!”
24-karat means no alliances
As part of “24-karat”, Osho does not want alliances with other groupings. This is why Osho therapy trainings do not give certification from outside professional bodies. To do so would dilute the integrity and independence of Osho’s vision of therapy.
24-karat means don’t change the meditations
With the flagship meditations like Dynamic, Kundalini etc Osho gave specific instructions not to change them in any way. That includes to not do the meditations to different music, to not use the music for any different purpose, and to not shorten the meditations, ie to not offer shorter “power” versions as part of his work.
It includes to not re-record the music for technical reasons. Osho created the music in close collaboration with the musicians, particularly the inspired composer Chaitanya Hari Deuter. It reflects his enlightened understanding and should not be changed.
24-karat means no other teachers: The Inner Circle’s letter to Turiya (in full below)
When Osho left his body, I remember hearing that Turiya, a prominent Osho therapist [co-founder of Path of Love, now called Path Retreats], had spent many weeks at some ashram in South India. And I remember thinking “Oh, if even Turiya went there, maybe it really is necessary to leave Osho and find someone else.”
What I didn’t know at the time is that Jayesh had written to Turiya about this very matter. I think it is a good letter and include it, and her reply, which I also think of significance, as an appendix below.
Again, what Osho says about the master-disciple relationship is rich and subtle and I highly commend that you read about it extensively at osho.com/library.
Osho’s work is not therapy
Osho says that most (not necessarily all) people, especially Westerners, need therapy to prepare for meditation; and meditation is only a stepping stone to enlightenment. Indeed, I’ve understood Osho to say in the 1970s that many people when they first came to Him had no conception of the existence of the inner realm, and could only relate to Dynamic Meditation as a psychological method. So it’s fine to use Dynamic that way, and many people need it like that. When people come to Osho who need therapy to clear the ground for meditation to grow, we need to provide that therapy – Osho therapy.
But the goal is not to attract people who need therapy. The goal is to attract seekers, who may perhaps not need therapy at all.
And this whole experiment is to bring a kind of Buddhahood into the world. This commune is not an ordinary commune. This is an experiment to provoke God. You may not be aware of what is going to happen. You may be aware of only your problems. You may have come to me only to solve your problems. That is secondary. I am cooking something else. I am trying to create a space where God can descend more and more. This commune will become a connection. The world has lost the connection. God is no more a reality. As far as this century is concerned, Neitzsche is right that God is dead. The connection is broken. God can only be through the connection. God will be there, we are here, but there is no bridge. So how do we know? This commune is an experiment to create the bridge. [Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2 Chapter #10 Chapter title: Out of the Mud and the Mire 5 September 1977 am in Buddha Hall. For more, see the wonderful www.osho.com/library ]
… therapy is not anything spiritual. Therapy is only preparing the ground. And if you don't have the seeds, the ground that you have prepared will simply grow weeds, wild grass. It cannot grow roses. Here I was using ... therapy to clean the ground so that seeds of meditation can be sown, and people can blossom. [Beyond Psychology Chapter #27 Chapter title: So which way are you moving 25 April 1986 pm]
A sannyasin begins by enquiring into his subjectivity, from within, and he becomes aware of tremendous treasures, inexhaustible treasures. ... From that moment your whole effort is to make everybody aware of his individuality, of his freedom, of his immense, inexhaustible sources of bliss, contentment, peace. To me, if therapy prepares the ground for meditation, therapy is going right... ground for the patients and ground for the therapist, both. Therapy should turn at a certain point into meditation. Meditation turns at a certain point into enlightenment. And to have such tremendous potential and just remain a beggar… [ … ] So leave the patients on the point from where they start moving towards meditation. Your therapy is complete only when your patients start enquiring about meditation. Create a great longing in their hearts for meditation, and tell them that meditation too is only a step -- the second step. In itself that too is not enough, unless it leads you to enlightenment; that is the culmination of the whole effort. [...] So help the patients as much as you can to understand their problems, but make them clear that even if these problems are solved, you are the same person. Tomorrow you will start creating the same problems again -- perhaps in a different way, with a different color. So your therapy should become nothing but an opening for meditation. Then your therapy has a tremendous value. Otherwise it is just a mind game. [The Great Pilgrimage: From here to here 13 September 1987 am. For more, see the wonderful www.osho.com/library ]
A longer quotation on Primal Therapy
Also this question on emotional release therapy, too long to reprint here, is worth reading on osho.com:
JANOV SAYS THAT NEGATIVITY IS ELECTROCHEMICALLY DRIVEN BY ENDOMORPHINS, THE CHEMICAL EFFECT OF PAIN. HOW IS “YES” POSSIBLE WITHOUT EXHAUSTIVE PRIMAL THERAPY?”
If this link doesn’t work, try it in an incognito window or google:
janov exhaustive site:osho.com
Not all therapies can become Osho therapies
Just as Osho’s work is not therapy, so not all forms of therapy are suitable to be part of the Osho method.
For example, in Pune I there was the famous cathartic, confrontational, no-limits Encounter Group. When in the late 1970’s Osho was shown a documentary of what went on in the group room he said “Not my work”, and the group was never run again.
In Pune II, someone (a leading Osho therapist and a beautiful meditative being) ran a prosperity consciousness workshop; again, Osho said “Not my work”, and not run again.
At another time, Osho was shown a tantra book by Mantak Chia and asked if a group based on this could run in the ashram. He again said “No, not my work”. I’m told he explained that Chia’s method depends on effort and “doing”, while Osho’s method is about let-go.
And I believe there were other examples.
Finally in Pune II one time the rebalancing training was running short of time to cover their syllabus. They asked Osho if they could carry on the workshop in the time allocated for Kundalini meditation. Osho said no; the meditation was what mattered, and as I recall words to the effect that the therapies were just to occupy time between the meditations.
Different people need different therapies and different meditations
It is central to Osho’s approach to not force everyone into one meditation method, and instead find the method that suits each person. Equally with therapy, different people need different methods, and each one person will need different types of therapy at different stages on their journey. In particular it’s not the case that the best or only form of therapy is emotional release, not matter how valuable this may be at some times for some people.
Here we are using all kinds of methods, and as many more people will be coming we will be devising new methods, because different people will need different methods. In the new commune we are going to have all possible methods. It has never been tried on such a scale. Every religion has a few methods, but we are going to have ALL the methods of all the religions of the past and of all the religions that are going to happen in the future. We are going to create a space for ALL kinds of people, not for any particular type. The old religions are missing in that way. Ah, This! Chapter #7
It is a whole strategy -- you are doing meditations of different kinds because one never knows which one is going to suit you. People are different, that's why there are different kinds of meditations. And I have chosen the most fundamental types, so one is bound to suit you. That which suits you, that which brings joy to your heart, a dance to your feet, go deeper into it. If you feel that there are some psychological problems which are hindering you in entering meditation, there are groups in which, under expert guidance, you can drop your psychological problems. After you have done all this then sitting with me in silence will become possible, and that is an absolute requirement. The New Dawn Chapter #15
This quotation is also relevant:
My approach is neither Eastern nor Western, my approach is neither male nor female, my approach is neither of action nor inaction, my approach is that of utter balance, symmetry, in you. This is what Taoists call wei wu wei, action through inaction—the meeting of yin and yang, anima and animus; it brings enlightenment. Imbalance is neurosis; balance is enlightenment.” Osho
The goal of Osho’s work is not feeling good
Therapy is about feeling good, living to the fullest, and having a happy life. Osho of course has an unlimited Yes to life and aliveness and to a rich and comfortable existence – “Zorba”, as he puts it. Feeling alive and feeling good in this emotional sense are not however alone the goal of Osho’s work, which is “Zorba the Buddha”.
Through contradictions I destroy your clinging to the mind and thinking. Through silence I destroy the world of your feeling. And when both these layers are gone, you are as existence wanted you to be, in your purity, in your individuality. You have come home. So don't be worried, the journey has begun. Don't stop until you come back home, where there is no thinking, no feeling, but only a sense of existence. In that experience, I will be able to convey to you that which is unconveyable in any other way. Then I am not the master and you are not the disciple. In the mind, I am the teacher, you are the student. In feeling, I am the master, you are the disciple. In being, I am not, you are not -- existence is. From Death to Deathlessness, Chapter 12
For more, see www.osho.com/library
Sannyas is a step on the path for an individual. It is not a club, community, cult or membership organisation
Sannyasins are not part of a sect. This is the meeting of individuals; we have met because we are on the same journey. There is no ideology binding my sannyasins with each other; it is just because of the same inquiry for truth that accidentally we have met on the same road. We are fellow-travelers. Nothing binds one sannyasin to another sannyasin; there is no bondage of belief, tradition, scripture. And in fact sannyasins are not connected with each other at all directly -- their connection is with me. One sannyasin is connected with me, another sannyasin is connected with me, hence they are connected with each other via me. There is no other organization. I am functioning only as a center and they are all connected with me, hence they feel connected with each other. That's how a commune arises, a SANGHA is born. [...] I would not like my sannyasins to become a sect ever. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
My sannyasins here are not a collectivity. Each of my sannyasins is related to me directly. It is not a church, it is not an organization: it is a love relationship. And because they all love me, of course they start feeling love for each other too; that is secondary. Their love towards me is primary, then their love for other sannyasins is secondary; they are fellow-travelers. But nobody is bound to follow me or to follow anybody else. It is a commune of fellow-travelers, fellow-seekers. I Am That, Chapter #12 And I am not creating a cult, I am not creating a church. The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2 Chapter #10 Chapter title: Because of love, we are together
Unanimous agreement, and no party politics …!
This is excerpted from an Oregon press interview where Osho is talking about the future organisation of his work as he foresaw it at that time, including the then-existing “RIMU”, the “Rajneesh International Meditation University” run by various committees of “sambuddhas” etc. So the specifics are dated. But what he says about unanimous decisions seems timeless.
I don't believe in a majority. I believe in unanimous decisions and I want to teach you to come to unanimous decisions about everything. Ordinarily, if two teachers are in favor and one is not, in any other university the degree will be given. But not in this university. All the three teachers have to agree. [...] And any conclusion arrived at should be unanimous. The most important conclusion will be of Sambuddhas. The second in importance will be of Mahasattvas. Third in importance will be of Bodhisattvas. They all three can meet together, but then too, they have to come to a unanimous conclusion. I don't want any party politics in the commune, ever!! The Last Testament, Vol 3, Interviews with the World Press Talks given from 22/09/85 pm to 20/10/85 pm
Q: HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH DIFFERENCES AMONGST YOUR DISCIPLES? There's no problem. We have groups -- therapy groups, encounter groups -- where people sit together, put forward their arguments, and many people join in the argument. The whole effort is to find the truth. It is not a question of who is right, the question is what is right; and soon the differences disappear and they come to a conclusion which is unanimous. About everything we can come to a unanimous answer. It just needs a little patience. In these five years I have not found any single problem that cannot be unanimously dissolved. The Last Testament, Vol 4 Interviews with the World Press Talks given from 21/10/85 to 11/12/85
Osho really did want his name to be trademarked … and, nothing can stop the original Osho therapists being Osho therapists.
I do believe that yes, Osho wants his name trademarked. In particular, I believe he said this directly to Shunyo. She reportedly said “What, Osho! – Like Coca-Cola?” and he replied “Yes, like Coca-Cola.”
Separately, at a certain point, Osho told a couple of dozen named therapists that they could in their personal capacity call themselves “Osho therapists”. When he did so, due to an oversight they were not asked to sign any trademark agreement. I so do not want to get entangled in the painful disputes that arose from this. However for me personally, the bottom line is that
(a) yes, “Osho” is trademarked, and for good reason, to preserve Osho’s work and name as 24-karat
(b) yes, the Osho therapists are entitled to call themselves Osho therapists. This came directly from Osho and no administrator can take away what Osho has given.
(The situation of Turiya’s letter is different, ie if an Osho therapist in their heart finds themselves no longer with Osho, or if their activities create confusion around the Osho method, then of course they should stop using Osho’s name.)
Practicalities: gracefulness and silence
A couple of practical points about presenting Osho’s meditations in the world.
- Osho is very keen to have unbroken physical silence in the silent parts of the meditations. He would repeatedly send messages not to cough etc during the Evening Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood. This in particular his means all phones totally off, no moving round etc. (There is an art in intending total silence yet not being disturbed by inevitable failures.)
- Physical things around Osho during his lifetime had a simple, graceful, “zen” aesthetic which it is good to bear in mind where possible.
Appendix 1. The letter to Turiya, a few years after Osho left his body
This is copied from http://www3.telus.net/public/sarlo/Turiya4.htm .
Letter from Jayesh to Turiya, August 1998
This is to crystallize the essence of Anando’s conversations with you and the effort made at a shared understanding of Osho’s guidance and insights for his work.
This process, like others, is a reminder to the Inner Circle of a shared insight from Osho: to help us all in understanding ourselves and in understanding his work.
he shares that many of his people who were with Him in the body would not make the jump from the presence of the master in the body to the absence of the master in the body. That for the mind of many, the gap created would be too deep and too wide. That in the mystery of existence, they would not understand that they had received from existence exactly what was required of the Master’s bodily presence. And that in this pain of the mind they would travel the world sitting at the feet of every idiot – Osho’s words. Clear, accepting and compassionate.
He also says that his new people, who would be coming after he left the body, would not have the need of his physical presence – again in the mystery of existence, if they had that need they would have come earlier. He says existence calls people to the work of an enlightened One at exactly the right moment. That because of countless generations of religions and priests, we are conditioned that we need the other and as a result we give the other our responsibility. That his new people coming would be very fragile in their potential to be totally responsible and be courageous enough to walk alone, feeling the presence of the Master without the need of his body.
he asks in this understanding that where Osho is used – be it in the name of a meditation center, a publication, a therapist’s title, or in any other context –
that people coming find Him, his understanding, his proposal with all 24 karats. That nothing associated with Osho cause confusion to others coming about the essential direction of their path – particularly to his new people.
Osho always respects the responsibility and freedom of the individual – perhaps above all else. With his shared insight, your process, your life, is not judged, and is accepted. Your view that you need to sit with others, as you have shared, and that if Osho were in the body you wouldn’t have this need, is your choice for your life, now.
We do not question your sincerity as a seeker nor your love and connection with Osho – and perhaps you are not available now to his message to us all – present and future – that without the burden of his tortured body his presence will be more available to his people.
Our concern is that your process causes confusion for others – more so because you work as an Osho therapist, primarily in Osho centers. In that function you take on an additional responsibility. This is not against the study of techniques that may enhance your skills as a therapist. He says that what is offered in therapy is in part a cleansing of the old and with the new people coming not much is needed. More importantly, the offering is a bridge from the mind and pain to meditation and no mind. That whatever bridge is useful is fine and not of much importance – understanding its real purpose is important. That in his meditation centers and in Osho therapy the vital ingredients are his Dynamic and Kundalini meditations and the evening satsang with the Master, including his discourses.
The doors of Osho’s proposal – his work – are open doors and a reflection perhaps of pure trusting. Our trusting is in your integrity as a lover of Osho, who, in not understanding his insight and guidance for his work, is causing confusion, without intent or malice.
It is clear to us that it is best for Osho’s work that you not offer your work in Osho Centers, nor as an Osho therapist at this time. The doors of course are always open to you as a meditator .
With love to you,
Swami Anand Jayesh,
On behalf of the Inner Circle.
Beloved friends in the Inner Circle,
First of all I would like to clearly recognize your responsibility and authority in upholding Osho’s work and vision for both old and new people coming to Osho. I am with Osho and I don’t want to harm Osho’s work in any way. So since receiving your letter last August I have taken a lot of time to really look honestly what I could learn from it. I certainly have learned (and still do) a lot from the letter, and the issues it has raised. I appreciate your taking a stand.
What really touches me is the place that you shone light on, about facing aloneness. Aloneness is a place that in the past has held a lot of anxiety and fear for me, and I can see that my going to sit with others was a way of avoiding to face that. I was not trusting that Osho has left us with all the tools we need, not trusting that I have it all in myself – that the only place where I can find is within myself by going in, not out. I recognize that this going into aloneness is one of the most essential points that Osho shares with us about the inner journey. For me to move into that aloneness has been really scary, but it is a point that I also welcome, am exploring and will continue to explore deeply. I can understand it now and want to really move into that space that Osho has given to all of us.
I did not realize, and understand now, that when an Osho therapist seeks spiritual guidance from others, this gives a contradictory message to people and is therefore incompatible with this function. Seeing this, I choose to be an Osho therapist. Through this whole confrontation I can also see clearly now how much responsibility I have, not only to new people, but also to old sannyasins. I really wasn’t aware of that! I can see where my responsibility is.
I found the issues that the letter raised a great help to crystallize all these points. Even though I have felt hurt, I could also welcome it, and what I am learning from it, as a gift. I have appreciated the many dialogues about all this since your original letter and I thank you.
Lots of love,
Ma Prem Turiya
Appendix 2. The “official spiritual affiliation”
The following extract is taken from Osho.com and is the basic requirements for an Osho centre. I personally have no doubt that these requirements come from Osho directly. Source: http://www.osho.com/static-informative-pages/orientation-information-osho-centers#SPRITUALAFFILIATION
“In addition, OSHO International Foundation provides very clear guidelines about who should NOT conduct programs in OSHO Centers: OSHO Centers may not offer programs designed or led by ex-sannyasins, or by any therapist or workshop facilitator who is against Osho and his teachings in any way. When participants come to an OSHO Center, they should be able to know that all activities offered are in harmony with the vision created by Osho. Otherwise, they may feel confused and exploited.
“If an OSHO Center wants to offer a program designed by a non-sannyasin or by someone unfamiliar with the OSHO Meditations or the works of Osho, it is the responsibility of the OSHO Center to make sure that the technique they offer is in accordance with the understanding and vision outlined by Osho during his lifetime. An example: one OSHO Meditation Center offered a course dealing with “manifesting” and “positive thinking.” Osho’s comment was: “These [types of courses] put us in difficulties – when people come here [to the resort] they have to think in another way, and it creates difficulty for them and for the people here. So it is best they do not happen in OSHO Centers.”
“Remember that people who come to OSHO Meditation Centers come in order to have a taste of the OSHO Meditations and related programs with OSHO staff. They assume and trust that program facilitators and session givers have a close connection with, and understanding of the OSHO work. Therefore it is the OSHO Center’s responsibility to select facilitators and programs with this understanding. This selection will be easier if you make sure that people offering programs have both a solid personal experience of the OSHO Meditations and an equally solid understanding of Osho’s approach to therapy & growth programs in relation to meditation.