Sunday, December 7, 2008

Enlightened Masters

My fascination with religion and spirituality started quite a long time ago. In fact I would say as far back as I can remember. My grandmother is a very religious person, as they are normally supposed to be, my father too in his own way; not my sister but that too in her own way. In fact it is very difficult to classify anybody into the category of religious or non-religious or spiritual, with some thinking they are spiritual but not religious etc. but it is a personal thing and depends on each individual.

I too, as other kids, listened to the various stories of the Hindu religion which I was born into. It is undoubtedly very fascinating and rich. But as a kid the thing that impressed me the most was the television serial specially Mahabharata and even in that the fights with bows and arrows. It is only now that people have realized that there is tremendous scope by the way of making animated movies in these field, with the central character being any superhero from our vast scriptures. So we have had Hanuman, Ganesha, Ghatotkatch, Bhim and others.

Once, having heard so many stories of how people used to do penances or underwent various other arduous tasks and then God used to be pleased with them, I as a child decided to do the same. After my parents had gone in the evening, I decided that I wanted to see and meet God. So the way I thought was.........
 that I pulled the skin on my forearm and twisted it with the other and held it for hours until my parents came and my mother rushed and asked me what I was doing and said that it doesn’t happen this way. It was a kind of a shock because here I was feeling like those heroes of our tales doing great things to impress God but was rudely introduced to the reality. It definitely must have had an effect on me and my thinking who believed it all to be true so it was that moment of personal experience which must have directed my path away from doing things that people still do- walk with naked feet to the temple or climb up so many stairs to go to the temple and what not with the basic idea being the same that I had as a child. It was only years later when I read Osho who said something like- Do you think God is a sadist or does he enjoy torturing people? What kind of a God would it be who becomes happy when people torture themselves or are Masochist.
Such a simple thing -so simple but profound. It is with things like these of Osho that you become aware of many things that we believe and don’t question; so many things no matter how stupid they seem. But he did and he does have a tremendous clarity. And he was my First Master and it is so true that you cannot find the Master- When the disciple is ready, the Master appears. I am not his disciple nor have I ever met him but there is a connection somewhere. Something in me agrees with what he says. It just sounds so true as if the truth has been uttered and the realization at the same time that it was so simple and I never thought of it this way. My sister’s roommate had a book of Osho and I just happened to pick it up and it never stopped. I was in search, trying to find out things, I was a seeker.
When I started reading him, there was an instant connection and I read that book three times in those days and I had never heard of him before. His words were so simple, had truth in them, the authority with which they were uttered was unmistakable; I was hooked- for life. I became more and more interested in him, read his biography, saw his videos etc. He was the most different from anyone I had ever seen in my life. Possibly I couldn’t even have imagined that a man like him could exist. It is almost impossible to lead a life the way he did, except in dreams to be so absolutely free is unimaginable and what he said could also be seen in his life. He was definitely not a hypocrite and it is said that people are so divided in their opinion about him, with some saying he was God, some saying he was a fake, personally now I don’t need anybody’s opinion on him. He was everything. He really was Zorba the Buddha. You cannot describe or classify him or put any adjective. He was all- together.
After I became a little accustomed to an enlightened being and his ways, I saw the same thing in Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. That aura of relaxedness and authority. Almost as if calm and silence were radiating from him. But before him I saw Swami Sukhbodhanand; on television of course, and again there was something. I realized that they all are similar yet so different in many things. Each of them had something about them that was unique, related to their personality but undoubtedly, the one I like the most is Osho, then Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and then Swami Sukhbodhanand. It is not a comparison and it is not a rating of who is better but from my point of view, the synchronicity that I feel with them.
I know for sure that it is one thing to read their words and listen to them, specially the ones who are gone and absolutely another to be with a real alive Master though I haven’t been with one and a few times somehow my plan to do so has failed. Being with a Master would be the most difficult thing because his only interest is to wake you up and so he would even hit you all the time- not literally of course. And rightly the definition of a Master given was that the one from whom you want to go away but can’t. You want to run away because he keeps hitting you but there is also some strong attraction that you cannot resist. The only way out is to wake up.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

I have recently ordered Sadhguru’s book- Mystic’s Musings and am eagerly awaiting it and I know it is going to be one great experience reading it. Again in Sadhguru’s case, it is his personality. Anyone looking at his various facets in life would be shocked- Playing games, riding bikes, festivals and what not. The best part I have always loved seeing or reading is the question-answer part. Because you just cannot expect what answer they will give to what question because they don’t have any fixed answers, they just respond and especially they respond to the questioner rather than the question and Osho literally took many people apart in his answers. They are able to see the very source from which the question is arising.

Swami Sukhbodhananda

With Sukhbodhananda, there is something that I feel about. It almost feels like Marketing where he is customizing his product for various people. He is more like a Management guru who helps various people from different fields, corporate etc to live their everyday life better. Now I am not someone who can comment on him but to me it does appear that waking people up, isn’t the only thing that he is trying and to me that is one way to distinguish a Master. Of course he might be doing it in his own way or preparing the ground for it or anything but that is why I put him third. But with Osho the only thing he was concerned with was to help people to their enlightenment. Yes, he too used to help people with their various everyday problems but he was there only for one reason and was even ready to die for it and in fact he did.
I can never imagine what it must have been to be near him. The sheer empowering presence of someone who is not there and yet there must have been so many who were with him but who missed the opportunity. I am sure I will definitely come across an enlightened one and when I do, I am not going to miss the opportunity.
Interesting - "Don't just do something, sit there" - Title of one of Osho's books!
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