Sunday, September 30, 2012

Minor Research project on Osho's parables in Kannada Books-Summery of the project


Osho (11 December 1931 – 19 January, 1990), born Chandramohan Jain, in Kuchwada village  in Madhya Pradesh and also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and as Osho from 1989, was an Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher who garnered an international following. Osho is a contracted form of ‘ocean’ and to his followers, Rajneesh was verily an ocean of knowledge.
A professor of Philosophy, Osho travelled worldwide; gave hundreds of discourses. His discourses have already been published in book forms.  It is estimated that around 650 books have been published.  The books are mainly in English and Hindi languages.  Among these, some important titles have been translated into  around  30 other languages all of which  have become immensely popular.  These translations are available in Kannada also and their number is estimated to be 30.
          Osho’s teachings, delivered through his discourses, were not presented in an academic setting, but were interspersed with jokes and delivered with a rhetoric that many found spellbinding.  The emphasis was not static but changed over time.  Osho revelled in paradox and contradiction, making his work difficult to summarize.  He delighted in engaging in behavior that seemed entirely at odds with traditional images of enlightened individuals; his early lectures in particular were famous for their humour and their refusal to take anything seriously.  All such behavior, however capricious and difficult to accept, was explained as “a technique for transformation” to push people “beyond the mind.”
          The key attraction of Osho’s discourses is beautifully narrated parables.  The main purpose of this technique is to help common people understand ideas enshrined in books on philosophy and theology that are otherwise unintelligible to them.  One can find many parables of this kind in Osho’s works.  Osho had this to say about parables: As the navel shows something about the past, a parable shows something about the future.  It shows that there is a possibility of growing, of being connected with existence.  Right now that is only a possibility, it is not actual. If you just dissect the parable it becomes an ordinary story. If you don’t dissect it but just drink the meaning of it, the poetry of it, the music of it – forget the story and just carry the significance of it – soon you will see that it indicates towards a future, towards something which can be but is not yet.  It is transcendental.  A theory can be dissected – its meaning is in it, it has no transcendence, the meaning is immanent.  A parable cannot be dissected; dissect, and it will die.  The meaning is transcendental;  it is not in it, it is somewhere else – it has to be, you have to live a parable, then you will come to its meaning.  It has to become your heart, your breathing; it has to become your inner rhythm.  So these parables are tremendously artistic but not mere art: great religion is contained in them.
The main topic selected for the present research work is Parables in the works of Osho that have been translated into Kannada.  About 116 parables narrated by Osho that are found in his Kannada-translated works are taken up for study in this research report.
Uniqueness of Osho’s Parables
Osho has strived to put across his thoughts to the common people through these parables.  In Osho’s parables there are thoughts culled from Upanishads, Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita.   Some instances from these sources are quoted as illustrations.  Events associated with the lives of saints and sages of India have also been made the subject of Osho’s parables.  Besides Bhagawn Buddha, Mahavira, great sages of the Himalayas, and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, wonderful events in the lives of fakirs and saints whose contributions to the enrichment of Indian spirituality deserve acknowledgement find place in his works.  The courageous events associated with naked sages like Dandani and Diogenes attract attention of the readers.
Osho was not inspired by Indian thought only.  He studied the biographies of many Western thinkers.  Extensive reading was his forte.  Mohammed Pygambar, Jesus Christ, Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison, Mao-Tse-Tung, George Gurdjieff, Confucius, Albert Camus, Sufi saints, Zen teachers – thoughts of all these accomplishers are there in Osho’s works.
One special feature of Osho’s parables is that these contain extensive debate on education, psychology, music, ayurveda, yoga, science, meditation, nature, environment etc.,   and the analysis of desirability or otherwise of these subjects in the background of scientific outlook.
Though Osho made an in-depth study of both Indian and Western philosophies, he did not accept either of these blindly.   He denounced all kinds of superstitions and his radical ideas ran counter to traditional beliefs and naturally incurred the wrath of the orthodox people.  So he had both followers and detractors in almost equal number. Especially, his unorthodox views on sex created a storm and made him a villain in the eyes of many religious heads.  He spoke publicly about many subjects that were prone to be suppressed in the name of orthodoxy.   One of these subjects is sex which was almost a proscribed subject for children.  He advocated a more open attitude towards sexuality which included dissemination of sex-related matters to children. In his discourses, Osho reinterpreted writings of religious traditions, mystics, and philosophers from around the world  His teachings emphasize the importance of meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity and humor – qualities that he viewed as being suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition and socialization.
 Chapters in the Research Report:
The Research Report is divided into the following chapters:
1.     Parables:  origin and development.
2.     Special features of Osho’s parables
3.     Stories concerning lives of achievers in the spiritual path
4.     Didactic stories
5.     Humorous stories.
In Osho’s didactic stories values occupy the central position. There are about 73 stories of this nature.  These values are subjected to analysis and discussion regarding their relevance today. Osho’s thoughts can be identified in these parables.
·               God is not a person, but a force
·               Experiencing every minute of the present should be our goal
·               Education is not just a collection of information
·               Projecting sexuality as immoral or obscene is not a healthy sign
·               Nothing should be suppressed, suppression leads to unrest
·               Meditation is a science which is beyond religious boundaries. Meditation improves human relations.
·               Enforced detachment is temporal.

Benefits of the Research Project:

·        Hundreds of parables are scattered  over Osho’s works.  An attempt is made here to put them together in a single paper.
·        We are not acquainted with many unknown  spiritual achievers of our ancient culture.  Osho has narrated in his parables many events associated with the lives of these achievers which should help us know about them.
·         Osho reveals in his discourses information regarding many books which are generally not available to common readers. In his discourses he includes lines and parables from these books which he liked.
·        He explains through parables values embedded in Indian and Western thoughts.  There are explanations about the relevance and degeneration of these values.  These stories will be like beacon for us in personality development.  The study of these parables acquaints us with different thought streams  of Western thinkers.
·         Especially, the stories make even common people happy.  They will be resource subjects for students and orators.
·        Through these parables one can have a peep into Osho’s thoughts.

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