On 1 November of last year, Swami Premodaya received an invitation from the Osho Viha Information Center and Book Distributors. The invitation was from the "Viha Connection", an Osho magazine they publish, to write an article for them. Directly below is the article Swamiji authored for them, in response to the subject matter of the “Spiritual Master.”

My beloved Osho has always been more than enough for me, and always will be. Unbidden and unsought, He crashed into my life. I was a 30-year-old confirmed atheist, walking into a bookstore I had long frequented. But as I walked in that day, an unseen power grabbed me, yanked me toward a shelf I had always scrupulously avoided, and made my hand pull down one book: The Book of the Secrets, Vol. 1 by “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.” I had never seen His face before, and I wasn’t sure how to pronounce His name. But that black-&-white photo instantly brought me to my knees. Just looking into those eyes, my mind spoke these words: “This is my master, and I am His disciple.” When I looked into His eyes, Osho straightaway proved to me the reality of guru, God, and disciple, all in a single mystical stroke. I had a sudden, profound inner knowing, permanently superseding everything that had come before, or that could ever come after.

I had a vague sense of what “master” meant, and I “knew” that, unquestionably, it was chicanery. In the same vein, I knew that many people believed spirituality to be real, even to the point of whacky actions like becoming someoneʼs “disciple.”

It took about 10 seconds from the time I entered that bookstore for Osho to throw all that out the window. Suddenly everything was topsy-turvy. Due to the profound experiencing of those few seconds, I knew to the core of my being that what I was experiencing were all inarguable facts. But argue I did. I had very strong beliefs, a paradigm that each one of these things was patently impossible. There was only one possible conclusion: Clearly, I had lost my mind. So even though I bought that book then and there and read it cover to cover that day, and even though I went back the next day and bought every Osho book they had (about 20) and voraciously devoured them, I nevertheless spent the next two years fighting tooth-and-nail to prove that none of this had happened, that it wasnʼt real, and that it was all impossible.

I vowed never to go to India, then Osho ended up in Oregon, 500 miles from my front door! The mountain had definitely come to Mohammed. Do I even need to say it? I took sannyas. He named me Premodaya; it means “the rise of love.” The love resulted in constant focus on Him, which later morphed into ceaseless, guru-awareness. Later still, this expanded to include continuous inner prayer. Finally, I noticed that it all brought God-centeredness – a continuous awareness of God, under all circumstances. All these things occurred for one single reason: because I so utterly, so deeply, so totally, so eternally loved – and love – Osho. Now, in hindsight, I see that what I thought of as “my love” was actually another gift of Oshoʼs grace.

Twenty-seven years after that blessed day at the bookstore, God spoke to me for the first time (not a voice, or even an experience – an inner message beyond words or thoughts, felt to come from some kind of outer source). It was a command: “Make yourself available to people, spiritually.” This was a repeat scenario. I knew it was real, yet I seriously considered that I might have lost my mind. Still, I knew better than to argue, so I adopted a wait-and-see attitude and complied. I became a spiritual teacher, and the reality of the message proved itself in the first 30 seconds.

Later God spoke to me again: “Now you have to stop calling yourself a ʻspiritual teacherʼ and let people know youʼre a ʻguru.ʼ” I was mortified! I questioned God: “Are you serious? Actually use that word? Youʼre not suggesting I should offer discipleship, are you?” When He answered, “Yes,” I pleaded, “But why? Everythingʼs going fine! Why would I need to give discipleship?” He answered instantly, “Because some people need that.”

I came to consider that event as having been my first job performance review, and going from spiritual teacher to guru, as a promotion – lol. There have been many promotions in the almost two decades since. The work, and how itʼs carried out, has changed many times. There was even a site visit once: When I had a challenge coming up in working and meeting with a particular disciple, I asked God for all the help I could get, never dreaming that he would show up in person! As I started my meeting, God walked in the front door and casually sat down next to me. He didnʼt say a word, but I could feel how he was definitely helping. When the meeting ended, he just stood up and walked back out the door. Although I was the only one who saw him, every person who came into the building over the next few hours expressed something to the effect of “Whatʼs going on in here? Whatʼs that overwhelming energy? I can barely breathe in here!” God definitely left an impression!

In my understanding, God is the “all-and-the-everything, altogether.” Or you could say, “God is the only Reality.” But Godʼs not a “man” – this was just how he manifested, likely for my “convenience.” God is not a “someone” or a “something.” God canʼt be conceptualized; he can only be realized.

Again in my understanding, no guru is genuine unless he has been commanded by God to carry out the “guru function.” And every guru knows that “guru” is a function, not a person; that itʼs the Divine itself that somehow puts such knowledge in you. The ego can never usurp this. The person is put aside so that the Divine can do its thing, from the Divine level. It all takes care of itself. Thereʼs no script and no preparation. When you sit down in the guru chair (so to speak), the “function” takes over. Your guru is God, communicating to you individually, directly.

There has been no “journey from disciple to master” for me. I am a devotee of Osho, period. And I am a guru, a servant of spiritual seekers, by Godʼs directive. The whole thing seems laughable, absurd: “Me? – the guru? Of all people! I know how flawed I am, so how could God use me?” I believe that every master experiences clearly that itʼs not they themselves doing the work – that itʼs actually God – that theyʼre just “being used.” There is no confusion. And I would be the first to say (as did Osho) that I speak on my own authority. In absolutely no way am I trying to represent Osho or His unique message. But of course, Iʼve been profoundly influenced by Osho, as well as by many other wonderful gurus, masters, and teachers whom I adore and revere. I have learned much, but most of what comes out of my mouth from the guru chair, I am hearing for the first time and learning it, just the same as those listening.

When you ask me, “Whatʼs my experience of the journey from disciple to master so far?” the answer comes unhesitatingly and unambiguously: “Itʼs all Oshoʼs grace.”

Jai, beloved master. I am forever at your feet.


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