Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dance your way to God

At the Osho Glimpse Centre, people come in search of the divine

By Shevlin Sebastian

At precisely 6.30 p.m. on a Saturday evening, Subin Das puts on the CD which will provide the music for the Kundalini Meditation at the Osho Glimpse Centre at Panampilly Nagar. Among those present, there is Sasidharan Parameshwaran, 45, Lekha Nambiar, 38, the pony-tailed, V.P. Kalam, 38, and Subin, 22.

For the first stage, which is of 15 minutes duration, the participants shake their bodies. And straightaway, Subin catches the eyes with his vibrant movements. The others are more subdued.

As Osho says about this stage, “When your body starts a little trembling, help it. But if you force it, it will become a physical exercise. Then the shaking will be there, but it will be just on the surface and will not penetrate you.”

In the second stage, the music is much more spirited – the sounds of the sitar and the tabla can be heard -- and now is the time to dance. Again, it is Subin who impresses, as he turns on his heels, raises his arms, moves back and forth, seemingly in the thrall of some power within him.

In the third stage, the participants stand or sit in a comfortable position, with eyes closed, and have to watch what is happening in the mind and outside. In the fourth and final stage, they have to lie on the floor, eyes closed, hands spread out at the sides and be still.

The CD goes silent, but at the end of 15 minutes, there is a loud gong, like the tolling of a church bell, signifying the end of the one-hour meditation.

When asked about his mood after the meditation, Sasidharan says, “What I am feeling now cannot be explained. Nor can it be shared.”

Says Kalam: “When a man is drunk he cannot explain what he is going through to somebody who has never had a drink.”

As for Subin, he says, “If I try to explain my experience, the truth will slip away.”

All of them had been in search for truth and meaning. Sasidharan says he had visited Shri Mata Amritanandamayi’s ashram, did the advanced course in the Art of Living by Ravi Shankar and attended courses at the Chinmaya Mission.

“They are all good, but, for me, the search stops at Osho,” he says. “In Kundalini meditation, the effect is immediate. The mind becomes silent. You reach the source at once.”

Lekha Nambiar, an English teacher, says she always has a sense of well-being after doing the Kundalini meditation. “My energy levels increase,” she says. “I feel fulfilled. This is the end of my search. Osho is the ultimate.”

Standing to one side and listening to the people talk about their experiences is Swami Jeevan Vismay.

It was Jeevan who started Osho Glimpse in October, 2006. Originally a Muslim -- M.K. Aboobacker -- Jeevan grew up in Kozhikode, became a member of the CPI (ML), spent several years in fruitless agitations and went to jail.

Later, he went to Salalah in Oman and Dubai, earned well and spent lavishly on entertainment, and still experienced emptiness. He tried the various strands of Islam, but nothing worked. He returned to Kerala in 1991.

A few years later, a friend gave him a cassette, which contained a discourse on money by Osho and said, “Since you are going mad even after having so much money, why don’t you hear this?”

When Jeevan heard the cassette, he experienced a new perception about life. “Then I began to read a lot of Osho,” he says. “And in every book, he insisted that one should meditate.”

When Jeevan heard that there would be a three-day meditation camp at Kozhikode in 2001, he decided to take part. “It was the turning point in my life,” he says. “I finally realised I am not my body, my mind or my feelings. I am just a witness to pure consciousness.”

Today, Jeevan, who runs a thriving travel agency, is an ardent Osho devotee and meditates once a day.

At the Osho Glimpse centre, there are numerous books, CDs, posters and magazines for sale. Asked about the response, he says, “In our lending library, there are 500 members.” The books have also been doing well. “A representative of DC Books told us recently that Osho books have high sales,” says Jeevan.

To popularise the teachings, the centre recently organised a week-long film festival. “Quite a few people turned up,” says Jeevan. “Osho is not like the water from the Kochi Corporation. We cannot supply it to every house. Those who thirst for Osho will come in search of him.”

Some Osho sayings

One cannot be pure without being humble, because there is no greater impurity than ego.

Do whatsoever you are doing, but remain a witness to it, and immediately the quality of your doing is transformed.

Once you start thinking about the future and ambition and desire, you are missing this moment.

Authentic religiousness is a childlike innocence, playfulness and a whole-hearted capacity for laughter.

A man living out of fear is always trembling inside.

Thoughts are substitutes for awareness.

Do whatsoever you are doing, but remain a witness to it, and immediately the quality of your doing is transformed.

Don’t be afraid, this existence is not your enemy. This existence mothers you; this existence is ready to support you in every possible way.

In the journey of life, intuition is the only teacher.

Truth happens where there are no clouds of thoughts moving in your consciousness.

If you have lived this moment totally, intensely, your next moment is going to be still more golden.

(Copyright: The New Indian Express, Kochi)

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