Written by Prem Shunyo
March 6th, 1986, 1.20 a.m. Aboard the small jet with Osho were Vivek, Devaraj, Anando, Mukti and John.
The plane took off from Athens, destination unknown – even to the pilots. In the air they asked John, “Where to?” John didn’t know.
Hasya and Jayesh were in Spain working for a visa for Osho, and John was in touch by telephone. “Spain is not ready yet,” said Hasya. Spain was never ready! It took two months of negotiating for them to say no.
The plane gained altitude and was moving fast – nowhere!
At the villa in Crete I stood poised, ready to follow, with the thirty pieces of luggage.
I looked around at the villa – broken windows, doors hanging on their hinges, battered in by the police – signs of brutality and injustice.
Kaveesha and David, Avirbhava and Sarvesh – who was too concussed to travel but too hyped-up to stay in Greece – Ma Amrito and her five-year-old son, Sindhu, Maneesha, Kendra and I were to travel as a group and wait in London for news.
I received a message from the plane that Osho was asking how I was, and had said, “Take care of Chetana.”
Before arriving in London we heard that Osho had been refused entry into Switzerland, France, Spain, Sweden and England. Canada and Antigua were to follow. Not only was Osho refused entry into these countries, but his plane was met with armed soldiers and police. Sannyasins were contacted in each country in advance and lawyers were working to help, but nothing could be done.
In Osho’s words from Beyond Psychology:
“…from Greece we moved to Geneva, just for an overnight rest, and the moment they came to know my name they said, ‘No way! We cannot allow him into our country.’ I was not even allowed to get out of the plane.
“We moved to Sweden, thinking that people go on saying that Sweden is far more progressive than any country in Europe or in the world, that Sweden
has been giving refuge to many terrorists, revolutionaries, expelled politicians, that it is very generous.
“We reached Sweden. We wanted to stay overnight because the pilots were running out of time. They could not go on anymore; otherwise it would become illegal. And we were happy because the man at the airport…we had asked only for an overnight stay, but he gave seven-day visas to everybody. Either he was drunk or just sleepy; it was midnight, past midnight.
“The person who had gone for the visas came back very happy that we had been given seven-day visas, but immediately the police came, cancelled the visas and told us to move immediately: ‘This man we cannot allow in our country.’
“They can allow terrorists, they can allow murderers, they can allow mafia people and they can give them refuge – but they cannot allow me. And I was not asking for refuge or permanent residence, just an overnight stay.
“We turned to London, because it was simply a question of our basic right. And we made it twice legal – we purchased first-class tickets for the next day. Our own jet was there but still we purchased them in case they started saying, ‘You don’t have tickets for tomorrow, so we won’t allow you to stay in the first-class lounge.’
“We purchased tickets for everybody just so that we could stay in the lounge, and we told them, ‘We have our own jet – and we also have tickets.’ But they came upon a by-law of the airport that the government or anybody cannot interfere with. ‘It is our discretion – and this man we won’t allow in the lounge’.
“In the lounge, I thought, how can I destroy their morality, their religion? In the first place I will be sleeping, and by the morning we will be gone.
“But no, these so-called civilized countries are as primitive and barbarous as you can conceive. They said, ‘All that we can do is, we can put you in jail for the night.’
“And just by chance one of our friends looked into their file. They had all the instructions from the government already about how they were to treat me: I should not be allowed in any way to enter into the country, even for an overnight stay in a hotel or
in the lounge; the only way was that I should be kept in jail.
“In the morning we moved to Ireland. Perhaps the man did not take note of my name amongst the passengers. We had asked just to stay for two or three days – ‘at the most seven, if you can give us.’ We wanted time because some other decision was being made, and they were delaying it, and our movement was dependent on that decision.
“The man was really generous…must have taken too much beer; he gave everybody twenty-one days. We moved to the hotel and immediately the police arrived at the hotel to cancel them saying, ‘That man is mad – he does not know anything.’
“They cancelled the visas, but they were in a difficult situation – what to do with us? We were already in the land, we were in the hotel; we had passed a few hours in the hotel. They had given us twenty-one days on the passports, and now they had cancelled them. We were not ready to go; we had to wait still a few days.
“You can see how bureaucracy covers its own errors. They said, ‘You can stay here, but nobody should come to know about it – no press, nobody should come to know that Bhagwan is here because then we will be in trouble.’ This whole journey has been an exposure of the bureaucracies.
“And just now I have received the information that all the countries of Europe, jointly, are deciding that I cannot land my plane at any airport. How will that affect their morality – refueling the plane?”
I set foot on English soil, after eleven years’ absence, like a samurai in fighting mood. Kendra had been in touch with John on the telephone from Osho’s plane and had heard the story that England had not only refused to allow Osho in the country, but they had kept him in prison overnight.
Our two tons of luggage was put on a trolley the size of a truck and the porter kept muttering to me, “Oh! luv, they’re gonna take you apart for this. Oh! luv, they’ll never let you in the country with all this.”
Maneesha, Kendra and I were walking alongside the trolley while Avirbhava took care of Sarvesh, whose blue, swollen face looked quite frightening. David waited outside, while Kaveesha knew the art of travelling – at every opportunity she sat silently.
We didn’t want to say we were arriving from Greece, so when the two customs officers asked where we were coming from Kendra, with a flip of her blonde waves of hair that had fallen seductively over one side of her face, said, “Somewhere else!”
“Somewhere else? Mm,” echoed the official.
“And where are you going?” he continued. “Somewhere else, I suppose,” conveniently answering his own question.
“Yes,” said Kendra.
“Okay,” he said.
We were such a colorful group of people, and our amount of luggage so out of the ordinary, that in a few airports the officials volunteered that we must be a theater group, to which we agreed, of course.
We settled in a flat in Kensington where we were to spend the next two weeks silently waiting.
Sannyasins all over the world were silently waiting throughout the whole world tour. Osho’s people, wherever they are in the world, and whatever their outward circumstances, are all moving together on an inner journey. I think we were all experiencing the same inner difficulties and challenges while Osho was literally living in an airplane, looking for a place to land.
Our connection with Osho, and with each other through Osho, is so deep that, as far as I understand, we are moving together as one body, and time and space do not enter into it. Whether a disciple is sitting next to Osho physically or ten thousand miles away, the distance depends on that person’s meditativeness.
In Poona when Osho was speaking every day, it was very clear that there existed a collective consciousness. We were all connected, often experiencing similar emotions and changes, and even having the same thoughts. It was a common occurrence that Osho would answer someone’s question in discourse that was exactly the question you had wanted to ask, word for word; and many times Osho would speak on subjects that a few friends had been discussing just the night before. I heard from many people that this was their experience. It was uncanny – almost as though he had been eavesdropping.
Now in London, there was nothing we could do – we did not know Osho’s whereabouts or when we would meet again, and it was a great opportunity to
be in the moment. To think of the past or to worry about the future was dangerous. Dangerous for both mental and physical health. We were in a situation that was fertile for mind-fucking, and the only way out – was in. I was to ask Osho:
“Beloved Master, When things become difficult for me I take refuge in the here-and-now. In the moment all is still, and it is the only way for me to stand on the razor’s edge. And yet a doubt comes in that I am escaping what is really happening: I may simply be wearing blinkers. Beloved, please help me understand which is true.”
Osho: “Never listen to the mind. Mind is the great deceiver. If you are feeling silent and still in the present moment, that experience is so valuable that mind has no authority to judge it. Mind is far below it.
“Mind is always of the past or about the future. Either memory or imagination, it knows nothing of the present. And all that is, is in the present.
“…Life consists only of moments; there is no past life, there is no future life. Whenever life is, it is always in the present. And this is the dichotomy: life is herenow, and mind is never herenow. This is one of the most important discoveries of the East: that mind is absolutely impotent as far as your subjectivity is concerned, as far as your being is concerned….
“…Whenever you experience something that is beyond mind, mind will create doubt, will argue against it, will make you look embarrassed about it. These are its old techniques. It cannot produce anything of the quality that the present moment creates. In fact mind is not creative at all. All creation in any dimension of life comes from the no-mind – the greatest paintings, the great music, the great poetry – all that is beautiful, all that makes man different from animals, comes from that small moment.
“If knowingly you enter into it, it can lead you to enlightenment. If unknowingly, accidentally, it happens, then it still leads to a tremendous silence, relaxation, peace, intelligence. If it is just an accident…you had reached the temple but missed by just one more step. That’s where I think all creative artists, dancers, musicians, scientists, are…just one step more.
“The mystic enters to the very core of the present moment and finds the golden key; his whole life becomes a divine rejoicing. Whatever happens, his rejoicing is not going to be affected.
“But until you have entered the shrine, even at the very last moment, mind will still try to pull you back: ‘Where are you going? This is sheer madness! You are escaping from life.’
“And mind has never given you any life. It has never given you any taste so that you can see what life is. It has never revealed any mystery. But it is constantly pulling you back, because once you enter the shrine it will be left outside, just where you leave your shoes. It cannot enter into the shrine. It is not in its capacity, its potential.
“So be watchful. When the mind says to you that you are escaping from life, say to the mind, ‘Where is life? What life are you talking about? I am escaping into life, not from life.’ Be very alert about the mind because that is your enemy inside you, and if you are not alert, that enemy can sabotage every possibility of growth. Just a little alertness, and mind cannot do any harm.” (The Path of the Mystic)
After two weeks the news came that Osho was on his way to Uruguay. Uruguay! Where is that? we asked each other. South America! But isn’t that where there are military coups every couple of years, and secret police that take people for interrogation, never to be seen again? It was an unknown and potentially dangerous country to us.
I remembered when in Nepal we looked at an atlas of the world and wondered where to go. The whole world was available, and now the world had become very very small. There was nowhere to go. Hasya and Jayesh had been making enquiries all over the world and there wasn’t a country in which we were welcome. The message that governments were receiving was that we were terrorists. America was informing countries that were indebted to them that they had to put pressure on Osho.
I have not been able to understand why the American politicians went so berserk over Osho. I know that what he says is against their culture, society, beliefs, but that he should be so persecuted for speaking the truth is hard for me to understand.
I asked Rafia, who was born and brought up in America – although I would not call him an American – what he thought it was that made the Americans behave in such an insane way. Speaking with a throaty drawl and twinkle in his eyes he said, “Well, Osho laid waste to all the gods of America – the first being the money god.” He said that the materialism of America is such that everyone aspires to have a great car, and Osho had not one but ninety-six Rolls Royces.
He said that the idea that the American has of being a great frontiersman was also upstaged. In just five years a piece of Oregon desert had been transformed into a model city and farmland where thousands of people were living and dancing. Rafia remembered when he first arrived in Oregon from California and saw the bumper stickers on the cars that read “Better dead than red,” and the posters with Osho’s face with a cross through it indicating “wipe him out.”
Then, of course, there is the Christian god. Reagan and his government were fanatical Christians and Osho was saying:
“In the past two thousand years Christianity has done more harm to humanity than any other religion. It has slaughtered people, burned people alive. In the name of God, truth, religion, it has been killing and slaughtering people – for their own sake, for their own good.
“And when the murderer is murdering you for your own good, then he has no feeling of guilt at all. On the contrary, he feels he has done a good job. He has done some service to humanity, to God, to all the great values of love, truth, freedom.” (Jesus Crucified Again, This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America)
Where there is god there is also the devil, and America’s devil is communism. In the commune we created a higher form of communism and it worked. “For the first time in the history of the world, five thousand people have lived as a family. Nobody asked anybody’s country or religion or caste or race. Every year twenty thousand people around the world used to come to see this miracle. The American politicians became disturbed by the success of the communeÉ” …Osho
“What is it about Osho that drives public officials to attempted murder? What makes the U.S. attorney
general, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, a federal magistrate, and federal judge and justice department officials join in an assassination conspiracy? The answer was perhaps best stated by best-selling author Tom Robbins, when he said:
“…the authorities intuitively sense something dangerous in Bhagwan’s message. Why else would they have singled him out for the kind of malicious persecution they never have directed at a Filippino dictator or a Mafia don? If Ronald Reagan had had his way, this gentle vegetarian would have been crucified on the White House lawn.
“The danger they intuit is that in Bhagwan’s words…there is information that, if properly assimilated, can help to set men and women loose from their control. Nothing frightens the state, or its partner in crime, organized religion, so much as the prospect of a population thinking for itself and living free.” (Jesus Crucified Again, This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America)
I would sometimes wish that Osho did not have to expose politicians and priests. I would think why can’t he just talk to us of magic, quietly somewhere where no one in the world cares. But Osho cared, and it becomes more evident each day how the unconsciousness of man is destroying the planet. He had to speak the truth because he could do nothing else.
“There is no need to be angry, there is no need to carry any complaint. Whatever they have done, they will have to reap the crop also. They have exposed themselves. And this is the way all these vested interests have been behaving with people who stand for truth, so it is not new… But one thing that makes me glad is that a single man without any power can frighten the greatest power in the world, can shake it from its very roots… I will manage to expose them. There is no need to be angry with them – just expose them. Bring their true face before the world. That’s enough…” …Osho (Jesus Crucified Again, This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America)
Each country that refused Osho entry was showing its true face. It was an insightful lesson to see that
all the so-called democratic countries are mere puppets belonging to America.
We were aliens, wherever we went.