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Nobody Channels Osho

An Interview with Osho's medium, Ma Anando

About people who claim that they are channeling Osho

(Appeared in the Osho Times International (OTI) of May 1, 1991)

osho and anando

OTI: Different people around the world are claiming to be receiving messages from Osho as mediums. Others say they are "channeling" him. On his last day in his body, Osho specifically chose you to be his medium. In fact, his very last words are.... "Anando will be my medium." So what is your response to these reports?

Anando: Yes, I heard there are some sannyasins in Switzerland claiming to be receiving messages from Osho. Osho speaks about this in The Hidden Splendor. In response to his old and much loved disciple, Sarjano, who said that he heard a message from Osho. Osho says:
"It is just your imagination, Sarjano. ... You love me, and you are so full of me that even if you speak in your imagination, you may hear my voice. But remember one thing: except for silence, everything else is your imagination - howsoever beautiful. ... My path is not the path of imagination. It is the path that does not use the mind at all. Imagination and projection and hallucination and illusion - they are all parts of the mind. My simple approach is transcendence of mind. So only when you start seeing absolute nothingness, utter silence, can you see that I am very close by. In that silence you have heard me. In that nothingness you have seen me. But if you see something, if you hear something, then it is your imagination - you have fallen from the beyond, back into the mind."

OTI: So Osho is saying that his message is silence, and that except for silence, anything else people think they hear him say is imagination?

Anando: Yes. He says that people claiming to receive "messages" from the beyond, even if those people are authentic - and he says ninety percent are frauds - they are in fact only channeling their unconscious mind:
"Out of ten, nine are not authentic. If somebody is authentic, then all that happens in reality is that he relaxes, his conscious mind goes to sleep, and from his unconscious mind, collective unconscious mind, cosmic unconscious mind, things start coming up. You can say they are coming from ghosts. You can talk about them in psychological terms and say they are coming from the unconscious. Or you can talk about them in California terms: they are coming from channel number one, channel number two. But they are all coming from your own unconscious mind."

OTI: Doesn′t Osho also suggest a way of checking who is authentic and who is a fraud?

Anando: Yes. First he tells a very funny story about how he used to go up to fakirs and poke them with a needle to see if they could remain in their trance. Then he says:
"If there is someone sincere, that means he is relaxing to the point where the unconscious mind starts throwing up its repressed contents. It has no spiritual value. But it will be good to check. Go to any person who is channeling with the galaxies, but keep a good needle with you! With the needle, the person will start dancing, jumping, and his galaxies will start going higher - from one channel to nine channels. You can check. If your needle does not work, that means the person is at least not a fraud, but he is simply falling into unconsciousness and allowing his unconscious to reveal its contents. But they have no spiritual value."

OTI: But Osho also says that people who love him will be in contact with him even when he leaves the body, doesn′t he?

Anando: Yes. But he is talking about his presence, not about "messages" for people. It is said to a group leader who asks whether he is deluding himself about being a vehicle for Osho - allowing his love and silence to pour through him when he works. Osho responds:
"If you have loved me, even when I am not in the body there can still be a contact. For love it makes no difference."
That is a totally different phenomenon from someone claiming to be getting messages for people from Osho. As a vehicle for Osho, the sannyasin therapist is not claiming to be dialling Osho on the hot line and acting as a telephone operator. He is simply being who he is, and sharing whatever wisdom he has embodied as a disciple. If he is sincere he will say something like: "This is my understanding of Osho but don′t depend on me. Start your own search, read Osho′s books, watch his video discourses, do his meditations and discover your own connection with the Master." So the therapist will not create any dependence by putting himself between the person and Osho; he will not say "I have a message for you from Osho." Priests have been doing that for thousands of years because their whole business depends on it. But a meditator needs no intermediary.

OTI: Doesn′t Osho speak about the gap that can happen when a master leaves his body, and the danger of the disciples being exploited?

Anando: Yes, many times. He says that in this vacuum people with guru minds will jump at the opportunity to exploit people - that the gap creates a feeling of vulnerability, and that in the whole world today there isn′t anywhere such a pool of seekers as here, and that is irresistibly attractive to the guru mind.
The guru mind he describes as like the mind of a wolf which sees vulnerable people as sheep and can′t help itself. He says there are guru minds both inside sannyas and outside, that the guru mind has always existed in sannyas, but was unable to move because of his presence in the body.
"When I leave the body," he warns, "the guru mind will sense the opportunity to move." He says Teertha was always in competition with him, but couldn′t make his move until Osho was not available to his people because of the world tour. Then the mind saw the opening and he had to move.
"When I am no longer present in the body," he says, "the people who were in competition with me under the surface will make their move. The guru mind, the exploiting mind, the wolf′s mind, can′t help itself. Like Teertha it will move. But it needs the sheep - without sheep, the wolf is no problem."
And what creates sheep is the gap - or the fear of the gap, the fear of being alone. This is inevitable when a master leaves his body. That is why he speaks of it so many times, warning us to be alert for this after he is no longer with us.
When a sannyasin asked Osho about needing personal guidance from someone tuning into him, Osho′s response is very clear:
"The idea of personal guidance is mind′s old habit to become dependent on someone... Nobody needs personal guidance because all personal guidance is a beautiful name for dependence on somebody, and he is going to distort you...
A meditator needs no personal guidance. A meditator, on the contrary, needs only one thing: the atmosphere of meditation. He needs other meditators; he needs to be surrounded by other meditators. Because whatever goes on happening within us is not only within us, it affects people who are close by. In this communion people are at different stages of meditation. To meditate with these people, just to sit silently with these people, and you will be pulled more and more towards your own intrinsic potentiality."

OTI: As the one who is left by Osho in the role of his medium, you have probably looked into this whole issue pretty thoroughly, haven′t you?

Anando: Yes. As I see it, he rules out the idea of any verbal messages to people on an individual or personal level, or relating to issues of everyday life. In fact, for many years now he hasn′t been giving people individual advice about what they should do and what they shouldn′t do in their personal life, what is best for them, etc.
He says that he has said everything, that people should read his books and listen to his discourses, that his only interest is to get us into meditation. So it is not his way to give these kinds of messages. But it is an obvious way for the guru mind to establish spiritual authority.
There′s one more thing I′d like to say: Osho specifically speaks about messages from disembodied masters. He says:
"When a message comes from a master, it has to be something so absolutely needed that the masters who are no more in their bodies feel that a message should be sent to all unconscious, sleeping, blind people. But it is only when there is something urgent; otherwise there is no need."
He says that only in a state of No-Mind is it possible to receive such a message. If it ever happens, I′ll let you know!

A sannyasin wrote to correct Anando on one point:

One thing about the paragraph above: even towards the "end," Osho WAS still giving individual advice to written questions. Many such questions continued to be submitted. Most of them, I understand, were dealt with by others, "routine" questions that could be dealt with by stock answers, but not all. Some questions he still answered himself. I know of such cases.
The short written answers were delivered by one of his secretaries, Neelam, Hasya, etc, and explained, enlarged by that secretary′s personal insight, but there is no question that he WAS still giving individual guidance to rank-and-file sannyasins, if you′ll pardon the expression.

Beloved Osho,
The other morning before lecture, I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to touch, with great gratitude, the floor where you walk. In that moment I heard again that voice - it still sounds like your voice: "If you can kiss in gratitude the place on earth where I have stepped... I want to tell you, that I′ve stepped everywhere on this earth." This is really too much, for I see myself in tears, kissing every spot on the earth. And again that voice comes in me, or from me, whispering, "If you can kiss in gratitude all the earth, and all that abides on the earth, you don′t need me anymore." Please, Osho, tell me that I was just imagining, that it was just a dream. You haven′t said that to me, have you?

Sarjano, the idea is Catholic. You come from the country of the pope, and that fellow goes on kissing the earth wherever he goes - even in India, where kissing the earth means kissing cow dung. When he kissed it here, that very day I said, "He has tasted something of Hindu religion."
It is just your imagination, Sarjano. There is no need for your gratitude to be expressed in stupid gestures. Just being grateful, your eyes full of tears, your heart just melting and merging with existence, is enough. Kissing the earth is just an idiotic symbol; I could never have said anything like this to you. But you love me, and you are so full of me that even if you speak in your imagination, you may hear my voice.
But remember one thing: except for silence, everything else is your imagination - howsoever beautiful. Only your silence I can say has my support, because only in your silence are you close to the very center of existence. In absolute silence, you become the very center yourself. But remember to avoid any kind of imagination - all imagination - even beautiful imagination, apparently looking like the divine.

(Osho - The Hidden Splendor #9)