Rajneesh the Indian teacher hailed as a guru was known to utter prolific words. More of a preacher, he was, also known as Osho was an oddly insecure man irrespective of the charismatic front. He didn’t much practice what he preached. And he had a dark past that cast even darker shadows on what could’ve been a great legacy.
Now this is the thing. Everyone has a past. And while we should never make excuses for that side of things, it’s compelling to get that out because his reputation was sadly plagued with it at the end.
And so he said……..”and the flowers showered.” This is about a book, a compilation of talks Osho hosted at his Ashram in Oregon spanning 3 months shy of a year. They took place from the Rajneeshpuram.
As a spiritual seeker, student, writer, existentialist and spiritual seeker and student of life I had of course come across Bhagwan as he was known to his disciples in my early years of soul searching. Bhagwan means God or Guru.
I’d noticed him. His charisma speaks for itself. You don’t just accumulate millions of followers the world over without any charisma. That’s just par for the course when you wind up a famous Guru.
He had a way with words. He could put a spell on disciples with his mastery of marrying words to make them sound so spellbinding you couldn’t help, but fall for him. This is what most of his disciples will tell you today. He spoke in eloquent rhymes and riddles that put you in a state of deep inquisition owing those brief epiphanic moments to him.
THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK
Everyone knows because I say this regularly books find us. We don’t find them. Never think it a coincidence when you find a hearty book.
This one found me in Carmel of all places. There for a short road trip with a girlfriend we were walking back to our hotel from grabbing dinner. As we made our way through the quaint little streets of darling little Carmel, an oasis like no other right in front a brick lined boutique sat a beautiful antique looking green metal shelf holding 50 or so books with a sign atop that read “Free Books”.
Delighted at the site we stopped to peer at the free treasures that were holding space by no coincidence for us. Waiting, making way, just sitting there patiently for us to come by, holding space for us, getting ready to forge a little fold perhaps in our lives, a little moment of joy and delight, awakening and happenstance all meeting there in that moment on that little beautiful road in Carmel. And just like that with little warning and seldom any notice these precious moments full of meaning and magic happen to us. And from there what we do is purely up to us. We can grab a great find and treasure it for life or for momentary bliss. We can take that body of wealth, knowledge, wisdom, prophecies and sometimes beautifully poetic words to heart. And with these words we carry love and light and embody the teachings of generations of wisdom past down from the sages, the likes of buddha and a direct disciple. And so I did.
AND THEN TWO MONTHS LATER I OPEN THE BOOK TO THIS……..
The story begins with Osho sharing a tale of Buddha’s disciple Subhuti. It’s a tale of profundity with simplistic dualism. Subhuti is showered with flowers after finding true emptiness or enlightenment. With zero expectation of any reward for discovering and evoking this level of freedom the disciple is rewarded with a downpour of flowers from the Gods. And so it Osho says, “….and the flowers showered.”
It’s a picture so beautiful and palpable that you can sense the awe of the moment and the showering flowers upon a dedicated disciple.
“SUBHUTI WAS ONE OF BUDDHA’S DISCIPLES. HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS — THE VIEWPOINT THAT NOTHING EXISTS EXCEPT IN ITS RELATIONSHIP OF SUBJECTIVITY AND OBJECTIVITY .
ONE DAY, WHEN SUBHUTI WAS SITTING UNDER A TREE IN A MOOD OF SUBLIME EMPTINESS, FLOWERS BEGAN TO FALL AROUND HIM. ‘WE ARE PRAISING YOU FOR YOUR DISCOURSE ON EMPTINESS,’ THE GODS WHISPERED TO HIM. ‘BUT I HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS,’ SAID SUBHUTI. ‘YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS, WE HAVE NOT HEARD EMPTINESS,’ RESPONDED THE GODS. ‘THIS IS TRUE EMPTINESS.’
AND BLOSSOMS SHOWERED UPON SUBHUTI LIKE RAIN.