A short tour of the beautiful OSHO ASHRAM, PUNE
Osho also known as Bhagwan Rajneesh and Acharya Rajneesh was an Indian mystic and founder of the famous movement called The Neo Sanyas Movement or Rajneesh movement in the 1970’s- 1980’s. Before settling in Pune ashram, Osho extensively travelled India as a public speaker on diverse issues. Speaking on various issues, he emphasized the significance of meditations in one’s life and he himself developed various types of meditations especially the “Dynamic Meditation” based on his own experiences. He was very fond of reading books since his childhood and had knowledge of almost all religions and cultures of the world. In 1970’s he started initiating sanyasins who were convinced by his teachings and philosophy. In the early 1980’s he even set up ashram in Oregon by the name “Rajneeshpuram” in United States of America, but was later deported back to India. He died on 19th January in the year 1990 at the age of 58, here at Pune Ashram, India
I have been reading Osho books since last 15 years and I find some kind of depth in each of the books and the uniqueness of content and the way they have been told, because they have not been written but these are actually Osho’s talks which have been recorded and converted into books. Osho has never written or published a single book himself. In fact it was not his objective to write and publish books. He was just flowing with the time as he himself believes in the flow, in almost everything.
After reading so many books and hearing countless audio recordings I too experienced the flow. I wanted to see where the guru lived and did his sermons and teachings. I wanted to see the place myself where all this movement started years ago.
THE ASHRAM TOUR – PUNE
On one fine spring morning in the year 2009, I reached Pune by train from Delhi and checked in a homestay run by some Osho sanyasin. I rented one room for the next three days. It was first trip to the city Pune. The room I rented was on a walking distance from the Osho Ashram which is now known by the name, “The Osho International Meditation Resort owned by The Osho International. Next day early in the morning I checked in the Osho Ashram which is in an area of about 10 acres in the Koregaon Park area.
THE MAIN GATE
The entrance was unusually guarded by the security men and there was a nice book shop near the gate where people were gathered to buy books and robes. Robes are mandatory to enter the Osho Ashram since its inception. All the sanyasins and even the visitors are required to wear maroon robes all day in the Ashram and in the evening meditations, white robes are mandatory in the evening sessions. These evening sessions or the evening darshans are known by the name of “White Robe Brotherhood” and these were special sittings of the sanyasins with their beloved master Osho when he was there in the ashram before leaving his body. Every evening, osho used to meet the sanyasins and had joyful sessions of talks, laughter, meditations, music & dance. It has now become the routine of every ashram of Osho the world over wherever the sanyasins are running the ashrams and meditation resorts.
Completing the formalities, I was asked to wait at the waiting area. Soon I was assigned a small group of other visitors and an instructor took us inside the campus on an introductory day tour. It was a small group of 5-7 persons and there were some other such groups each with an instructor. We all reached a meeting room of an old building at the first floor, the ground floor was locked and restricted for the visitors. After a brief introduction we had a small musical session and introductory session. We did some light dance meditation also.
LAO TZU HOUSE
Next we went to another nearby building passing through the common place where people were sitting , chatting and having nice time. Within the campus was an old house, which was quite serene with lots of plants and other vegetation and a small porch at the entrance. The building is known by the name of “Lao Tzu House” and it is the place where Osho use to live when he was alive. It is named after a Chinese philosopher whom Osho admired, and who is founder of philosophical Taoism. This was an old house with lots of vegetation around and we reached the porch where we got instructions to takeout our footwear and wear socks available at the gate. There was a fancy Rolls Royce parked here at the porch which was stunningly maintained as if it has been purchased a few days back. But this was Osho’s much talked about Rolls Royce, almost 40 years old, which he use to drive and admire when he was alive.
CHUANG TZU AUDITORIUM
We were told by the instructor not to touch anything and be silent as we were moving towards the meditation hall for Silent Meditation. We passed through the passage which was covered by book shelves wall to wall. All the books which Osho read in his lifetime are kept here. The famous chair on which Osho gave many audio recordings while going through his dental cleaning sessions was also kept at one side of a small room. Finally we reached a beautiful room at the end of the passage. This auditorium named after a Chinese philosopher “Chuang Tzu Auditorium” is circular in shape and transparent in that all the walls were glass walls and with a high rise ceiling. The ceiling was studded with many small beautiful lights. Through the transparent walls of the room were visible palm trees all types of beautiful plants and a small pond. It was almost like a Zen garden which Osho mentions in many of his discourses. We sat for silent meditation here for an hour and adorned the beautiful ambience of the place.
The aura of the place was also so strong because this was the place where Osho’s ashes are still kept. When this place was built, Osho used to see sanyasins here for meditation sessions. Just before his death, he announced one day that this room be developed into his bedroom after his death which he was expecting at that time. He told all his sanyasins that he will be leaving them very soon. This is the reason that this place in Osho ashram has strong aura and positive vibes.
THE SWIMMING POOL
We left the Lao Tzu House and it was time to have lunch at the poolside. The beautiful swimming pool is always full of playful sanyasins having a good time. Only members enrolled for residential programs are allowed to use the pool.
By the side of the swimming pool is a restaurant which serves pure organic vegetarian food for which the raw material they claim comes from the ashram farms. The coupons can be purchased from the reception at the time of entry. These coupons can be redeemed at the counters at the restaurant to buy eatables.
THE BUDDHA HALL
After the lunch the instructor took us for meditation session at the main auditorium The Buddha Hall. The architecture itself is unique and eye catching to see and the whole building is unusually painted in black color. It looks awesome and on entering the main hall you can feel the vibes too.
Here is the place where Osho use to meet the snayasins and use to deliver those discourses which people listen again and again even after so many years have passed. Those were the energy filled dance sessions with all the sanyasins staying in the campus. People like me who have never seen Osho but admire his thinking and teachings can meet him only through books and audio/video recordings now..
THE FINAL WORD
Thousands of visitors and enthusiast from all walks of life and from all over the world visit this Ashram every year. All age groups of people can be seen here throughout the year, some attending daily meditations, some subscribe to the live- in programs and some casual visitors. On all, it is estimated that Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune receives 15000 visitor every year. People like me who never met Osho and read his books and teaching day in and day out visit this place every year just to see the place where once lived the beloved master.
It is suggested to book online in advance before visiting the Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune. Visiting the website is desirable before planning the trip. Carrying a valid ID card/ Passport is mandatory for entering the premises.
Pune can be reached from all major cities by Train and the airport is also connected to the major cities in India. The weather of Pune is generally hot and humid. The best season to visit Pune is the months from October to February.
Image courtesy: www.osho.com