One friend has asked that while leaving his body, Bhagwan Buddha promised that on Buddha Purnima Day at a particular time, at a particular place, when a gathering of 500 bhikshus, with a prayerful heart, would remember him, he would appear to them and give his message. Similarly Osho has said that wherever 5 of my sanyasins be present together, my presence could be felt there.” Kindly explain this.
Answer: The Master’s presence can be felt only by those people whose hearts are opened towards him, those who are connected through surrender. Osho’s assurance that ‘wherever my five sannyasis gather…’ but remember who is a sanyasi? What is the definition of a sannyasi? There is a sutra in the Nirvana Upanishad, ‘the sage of the Upanishad says that he who has known Pranav (Omkar, Divine Sound) is a sannyasi, one whose mantra is Anahad Naad (Divine Sound). He who has drowned himself in Omkar is a sanyasi.’
Osho has interpreted this sutra very beautifully in the 14th lecture of The Nirvana Upanishad. ‘Only he, whose mantra is Anahad Naad (Divine Sound), is a sanyasi…’
When Osho says, “my 5 sannyasi”, we must remember that by sannyasi we do not mean only that who has worn the mala, has changed clothes and has changed his name.
What will happen by changing one’s clothes? Kabir says – man na rangaye jogi kapda rangay which means do not change your clothes, change your mind. Changing the colors on the surface will not change anything, the consciousness within has to transform. When the Anahad Naad reverberates inside only then one is worthy of being called a sannyasi. This is the definition given by the sage of Nirvana Upanishad
With this background of the sannyasi, understand Osho’s statement that wherever 5 of my sannyasis gather there they would be able to experience my presence.
His presence would be in what form? I would like to categorize it into physical and subtle. In the tangible form, Osho’s presence can be experienced in the form of celebration. Osho has taught us celebration. “Utsav amaar jaati, anand amaar gotra”. An atmosphere of celebration is created whenever five disciples gather. It would be a joyous situation. Osho’s presence will be felt in the form of joy, celebration. Osho’s presence would be in the form of love. Osho has called the evening Satsang as Osho White Robe Brotherhood. Bear in mind, the word ‘brotherhood’. If there is no brotherhood, there is no White Robe.
Once I visited a place in Punjab. Some friends have formed a small commune. About 10-12 people have built houses and are living there. When I arrived there, they were in a meeting, having some discussion. There was some disparity on the account of some financial issue. It was a heated situation they even exchanged a few slang words with each other. Thereafter they all got ready for White Robe Brotherhood at 6.30pm. Even I joined in. After White Robe, it was dinnertime. Everyone sat together and ate. While having dinner yet again the dispute started. The conversation became very heated. As I stared to leave from there, my host asked me, “Swamiji, how did you like the Osho White Robe Brotherhood?” I said, “Excuse me, kindly delete the word Osho and Brotherhood from it. There was neither the presence of Osho in it nor the feeling of brotherhood. It started with quarreling and contempt and ended with similar commotion. I cannot believe that during the one hour in between there was any sudden brotherhood. Can brotherhood be attained just by wearing white clothes?
You need a loving environment for that. A surrendering heart, a feeling of brotherhood is required. So, I told him that it should only be called “White Robe”, and “brotherhood” should be left out. I said that even Osho’s name should not be added in it, only White Robe. Agreed, that the white robes were very good, even its cloth was good and the color was fine. However, White Robe remained merely a piece of white clothing. How could Osho’s presence be felt it that? Osho’s statement is absolutely correct, nevertheless understand it in the correct sense. The definition of a sannyasi is; the one who has known the Anhad Naad, the divine sound, whose mantra is the OM.
All religions have a very deep and subtle beginning. Unfortunately, finally they all end because of something gross. They all are caught in rituals. I have seen in many places communes, meditation centers, that brotherhood no longer prevails. Since there is neither brother hood, nor love then even Osho is not present. We have not fulfilled the requirement. Osho is ready to fulfill his promise. Nevertheless, even we have to fulfill the criteria. Let us create a space of brotherhood wherein Osho’s can presence can be felt. Osho’s assurance is purely truthful like that of Buddha’s assurance. But it is not necessary that those whom we claim to be sannyasi are in fact sannyasi. If meditation is happening just as ritual then we cannot call it meditation; only if genuinely love and awareness is growing – the requisite is fulfilled. Reflect on this and capture the subtlety of it. Wherever five true sannyasi would gather, there would be celebration. There would be joy. In addition, where there is overflowing bliss that itself is called love. There would be love. Osho will be present in these three forms – bliss, love and celebration.