Osho is not just a social or a political revolutionary. Rather, he is aiming at something which goes much beyond than that. While his vision and work have sown the seeds of social revolution, that was not his primary purpose. He is, in fact, aiming at changing, transforming the very nature of life and living. He has indeed created a revolution in consciousness but his method and approach is more in terms of being a rebel rather than a revolutionary. Osho is essentially a rebel because he challenges the conventional ways and means of mankind by doing what is forbidden by the society, the religion, or the establishment – in his own way, in his own time, and at the place of his choosing. A rebel does not fear whether what he does is forbidden because he does it in the interest of the future of mankind. Osho has worked to create a New Man/New Woman for creating a New Society – not simply a changed society. He is not interested in a refurbished, extended, redesigned version of our present-day society – but a totally new society. This premise has to go deep into our understanding Osho, his Vision and his Work.
One level of reality is that we are simultaneously experiencing economic revolution, technological revolution, information revolution, sexual revolution, a post-industrial revolution. We are actually living through a general crisis of an overly grown advanced civilization. As a rebel, Osho cuts through the existing dichotomies, dualities, paradoxes and contradictions by creating what he calls “an awareness attack” while providing radically curative methodologies, incisively diagnosing the malaise and helping humanity to become conscious of the unconscious ways, means, and patterns of mechanical life which lead nowhere but to darkness. His primary approach has been helping humanity create the consciousness, the awakening needed to undertake the control of this very moment in the process of its future evolution.
Through his rebellious but provoking words and methods he has not only made an imaginative use of his enlightened vision but he has also channeled change so that one may reach out to one’s ultimate potential, being a materialist-spiritualist, what he calls – ‘Zorba the Buddha’. In doing so, he gives an impetus for the mankind to make, what the Marxists call, a ‘qualitative leap’.
“To be a rebel, to me, is the only way to be religious.”
The Rebellious Spirit, Ch 11, Q 1
He is a rebel, not a non-conformist. He is not the one who like the reactionaries goes from one extreme to another. He is always in a balanced state. Osho is not a rebel as defined in the dictionary in the sense of one who is “fighting back,” or “fighting against.” Indeed, Osho’s rebellion is of that nature, but “fighting back” gives only half of the picture; it is incomplete. Osho not only fought against all that is wrong, he not only dismantled the old, the rotten, and the irrelevant, but he has also brought a new perspective, a new light in which we can see ourselves and the world around us with greater clarity and understanding. He completed the other half of the rebellion – he has created a new vision for the entire humanity so that it may live a better life. This is why Osho is a self-defining phenomenon – he is his own definition.
In Osho’s view, self-transformation requires a conscious human intervention, a meditative process of awareness. In Yoga, Ayurveda, and such ancient physiological practices, their work was revealed and made known through inner meditative techniques. While in a way, modern physiology is known through dissection, the ancient physiology was known through meditation, not dissection. So, transformation is not the same as ‘change’. We all change, we are changing; our body, mind, attitude go through changes. Transformation, per se, however, is a voluntary and intentional change.
Perhaps this “paradigm shift” can be explained by way of an analogy. All the attempts to change the world, to date, have been from above down. Whether it is from the priests, the politicians, Hitler or Marx, the solutions are all top down solutions. Amongst Osho’s insights spread in his 650 books we find him stressing the fact that each individual will have to change inside out; he or she will need to go within and search rather than look for a magic wand outside. Top down solutions may end up being dictatorial, while inside out change is purely transformational – individually and by its very implication, collectively. Since ancient times, sages and enlightened Masters have shared the spiritual science of Meditation which governs human consciousness. Osho has refined this science in ways similar to how other sciences are applying the methodology of observation, experimentation, repetition, and the evident proof of transformed lives of meditators. Hence, Meditation, as explained by Osho, is as much a religion as it is a science.
In short, while it may be necessary to stop the madness in front of us whenever we can, we shouldn’t be fooled that there is any long-term solution until we humans, individually, one at a time change.
And in case one may feel this is all a bit academic, there is a clear implication that, given the current direction of humanity, we don’t have another twenty-five centuries to play with.
Swami Satya Vedant (Dr. Vasant Joshi)
Ph.D., University of Michigan, U.S.A.
M.A., Ph.D., M.S. University of Baroda, India