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What transformed a Bollywood superstar into an Osho Sannyasi? | Coastweek

NEW DELHI India -- Swami Vinod Bharti [left] greets with Namaste. Vinod with Osho [right] in Pune before going to USA.


What transformed a Bollywood superstar into an Osho Sannyasi?

NEW DELHI India -- Many hundreds of tributes to Bollywood superstar turned politician, Vinod Khanna, have been published after his passing away recently in the Indian media and also in NY Times, writes Swami Anana Kul Bhushan.

All these mention his career as an actor and a leader with just a passing reference to his guru, Osho.

None of them even hint at the inner alchemy that transformed him into Swami Vinod Bharti.

What transformed a Bollywood superstar into an Osho Sannyasi? | Coastweek

  Neither do they answer the pivotal questions: Why did he quit when he was rated as number one hero?

What prompted him to give his life of luxury, fame, respect and glamour for spartan living in Osho ashram?

Which questions confronted his mind to take this daring step?

Perhaps the question that confronted him was: ‘Who am I?’

When his question is so real, so deep from his being, so over-powering for his life, then the guru happened.

And Vinod embarked on his personal journey of discovering himself with meditation at Osho ashram, shuttling between meditation in Pune and movies in Bombay.

MANALI India -- Looking up! Vinod [left] Kul Bhushan [center]and Osho in Manali in 1985 after Osho returned to India.
He bared his heart and detailed his spiritual safari in a long interview in Hindi for 'Osho Times' in 1994.

He recalled: "My spiritual life started when I reached the point when no material thing was important to me.

"I had it all: good money, family, fame, respect ...all desires had been fulfilled.

"At the age of eight, I went to sadhus to sit with them with eyes closed, meditating.

"This spiritual dimension took a back seat in school and college.

"I wanted to be an actor.

"When I was successful as an actor, my childhood desire awakened again; I started to think: what is consciousness which all gurus talk about?

"So I went to a bookshop and bought "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramhansa Yogananda and read it.

"In 1974, four deaths in my family within six months shook me.

"I thought, ‘I will also die and don’t know anything about myself.’

Started to meditate but hit a wall.

Some peace but nothing much.

Vijay Anand and Mahesh Bhatt took me to Osho.

Osho’s discourses answered all my questions. Surprise!

"In 1975, I decided to go to Osho who said, ‘Are you ready for sannyas? You are.."

"I took sannyas on 31 December.

"I felt I knew him from many births.

"Do Nadbrahma meditation, said Osho.

"I was very active at this time; I had too much physical power but my mind was not so active, needed to experience no-mind, silence.

"I knew the proverb: Empty mind is devil’s workshop.

"Too much stuff in my head; so afraid of no-mind experience.

"Body started having chemical changes, carried on meditating.

"From 06.00 a m to midnight, meditating.

"Meditating at work in between shootings in makeup room, listening to his discourses, and meditating after work at home.

What transformed a Bollywood superstar into an Osho Sannyasi? | Coastweek

  "Wearing orange and mala shocked everyone – family, friends, some called me mad; but the film industry never disowned me.

"They sympathised with me, wondering why I took sannyas.

Gradually, I got fed up with films and wanted to live with the master in Pune.

"Osho said NO, I was not ready; work totally.

"I was not total; resisted useless song and dance sequences, disliked my roles, direction, screenplay … everything.

"Once I realised that I should respect all of them.

"When I became total in my work, I started to enjoy my work and my enjoyment affected others around me.

"When I told Osho about this, he said, ‘Do groups.’.

NEW DELHI India -- Vinod the politician: In 1998, he was elected as a Member of Parliament and later appointed minister for Culture and Tourism in the Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet. Six months later, he became the Minister of State for External Affairs. In the hurly burly of politics, he was always centered with Osho in his heart.
"These helped me very much: Released my suppressions and blocks as positive energy flowed.

"I was fully in the world and yet not in it.

"Wanted to stay in ashram."

The superstar was gradually transforming into a sanyasi.

"As his search became more intensive, he started to spend more time in Pune.

"Due to deep meditation and imbibing the vision of Osho from the discourses, Vinod started to transform.

What happened to him in meditation? Osho says, 'In meditation, you have to empty yourself of yourself.'

"You are full of stress, traumas, worries, dreams, aspirations, and above all, ego.

"Osho’s active meditations mostly start with hectic physical activity and continue until the body is completely exhausted.

"This exertion is also the best chance for Catharsis or cleansing and release of all embedded tensions.

"Then you sit still or lie down with fatigue.

"When you collapse totally tired, you become empty of all thoughts.

"You do not remember who you are, where you are as there no thoughts.

"As you are empty and enter no-mind state, something mysterious starts happening, which is unexplainable.

"Something of the beyond starts descending on you, some unknown energy starts singing in you, dancing in you.

"That’s how this alchemy works with you.

Vinod remembered," One day in 1977, Osho suddenly said, ‘You can come in ashram.’

"I then went to Bombay and held a Press Conference announcing my leaving films at the peak of my career and staying with Osho.

"This was a shocker! Created a storm.

"Film producers were angry as they had lot of money invested in films under production with me.

"I promised to complete all these films and fulfill all my commitments.

"Osho got lot of criticism for my action.

"I tried to bring my family to Osho but they were not interested in Osho.

"My inner explosion could not be expressed or reported by the media.

"My ashram life Pune was meditating and working in Osho’s garden.

"In Osho’s garden; no trees or plants could be cut; I bruised my body and got thorns when working in under-bush, and was full of mud.

"I slept in a very small room in which I could hardly stretch my six-foot frame and was just about cramped.

"Facing my fear of death, I was told two people had died in that room.

"But I was at peace at the chance of living with Osho.

"And, I still went to Bombay for shoots.

"By 1981, I completed all my films and went to USA to be with Osho.

"At Rajneespuram in Oregon, I worked as a gardner in Osho’s garden with peacocks, looked after them, looked after plants and trees, cleaned the place.

"I enjoyed the hard work.

"Sometimes Osho called me to his room.

"Mostly meditating, going deep into my inner space, all masks dropped, didn’t know what else was going on in the world.

"Osho remained silent for three years but was communicating with everyone.

"Then he started to speak and created a storm.

"In 1984, I returned to Bombay.

"Before coming back, Osho asked me to manage Pune ashram in Pune, I replied, I will think about it.

"At this time, I had no money, no career.

"But my comeback in films was very successful.

"I was always with Osho," he said.

In 1998, he was elected as the Member of Parliament and later appointed a minister in the union cabinet.

In the hurly burly of politics, he was always centered with Osho in his heart.

Media asked him, ‘Have you left Osho?’

He firmly answered 'NO'.

He embodied what Osho says, "Be blissful within and loving without.

"You can be blissful and miserly; then bliss starts dying.

It has to be shared to keep it alive and flowing to keep it fresh and young.

"The sharing of bliss is love, and it is through love that bliss grows.

"The more you love, the more blissful you become."

What was the transformation, Vinod replied, "I became a witness.

"My acting was not confined to movies but spread to my life as my life had become a movie."



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