Rajneeshpuram : Osho’s World in ‘Wild Wild Country’ : The Docu-series on Netflix
‘Wild Wild Country’ : The Docu-series on Netflix
Rajneeshpuram – was essentially an Experiment, at multiple levels. It was not, what one may see, a final product. It was in a wider sense a Process. Participants in this experiment, in this process joined in full freedom voluntarily and willingly. Indeed, the large part of these participants was educated, professionally trained as well as successful, and seekers open to search explore and understand the deeper meaning of Life and Living in light of Osho’s enlightening presence.
America, in a wider sense, has historically known only Christianity as a religion, the rest manifestations of religious pursuits are identified more as “cults”. Moreover, the United States largely sees the world more as us vs they syndrome, while the synergy at Rajneeshpuram manifested the phenomenon of we. Hence, the Experiment, the Process, cultivated, encouraged, that we-ness as different from us vs they-ness.
Osho is not and never was a “cult leader”. In fact, he has never been a “leader” of any kind, form or shape. He is basically a Reminder, reminding fellow lovers/meditators/seekers/friends the true potential hidden within the spheres of Earth, land, environment, art, architecture, creativity, Man and Woman, human body and soul, the physical, the psychological, and the spiritual reservoir. Osho even did not ignore reminding us the sociological sphere of our human society—the “street people” who were caringly brought from all around America in hundreds and who went through a remarkable transformation within the welcoming and loving environment of Rajneeshpuram. I was entrusted to bring these “street people” in Greyhound bus all the way from New York City to Rajneeshpuram, Oregon. It was an absolutely amazing and a learning experience, more as a gift.
In the most realistic and existential sense, Osho has created a number of devices as he says, to awaken Humanity. Historically, spiritual Masters of various traditions have created and passed on devices to bring humanity out of inner darkness and mental slavery. His six hundred and fifty books,of which many touching the core of several spiritual paths around the world, hundreds of meditations and self-transforming processes, thousands of audio and video discourses as well as the very creation of the city of Rajneeshpuram are glorious examples of Osho’s devices. In fact, as declared by one of the ancient teachings of Lord Shiva, Shiv Sutra, a Guru (a Master) is nothing but purely a Device.
Certainly, in this entire Experiment human minds were involved. Within that sphere of mind phenomenon both kinds were present – if there was Osho’s attorney Swami Niren and many such other outstanding individuals, then there was also Ma Sheela and those who followed her, worked for her, and worked with her. And that is one of the factuality of this experiment – the inherent duality, the contradiction, but nevertheless, very much part of one Reality containing, myriad facets, dimensions, truth and unrighteousness.
If one were not to see under the shadow of Jonestown and such other cultish examples, then Rajneeshpuramin its ultimate sense shows it to be an unparalleled undertaking where life was more like a flow of creativity and commitment, love and care, devotion and dedication, right and wrong, an open society willing to fulfil a task with great enthusiasm, and also be ready to face any challenge to maintain its safety and integrity.
One needs to recognize the fact that, Osho has been like a force, a source, more as an energy phenomenon, more as a Presence to be reckon with. And in that Presence, transformation took place at various levels whether physical, material, or human, spiritual. It was all an ultimate by-product of the play called: Rajneeshpuram.
I was blessed to be an active participant and a witness to this vast and incredible experience. I am equally grateful to Chapman Way and Maclain Way for my having this opportunity to briefly share the Experiment and the Experience.
-Swami SatyaVedant (Dr.Vasant Joshi)
Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., USA
M.A., Ph.D. M.S. University of Baroda, Baroda, India