Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt was the one who introduced me to Osho. I felt an instant connection. It is said that the guru calls you when he wants to.
That you can't find your guru. He finds you. For me, going to Pune and meeting Osho was my call. And the call was powerful enough for me to leave behind the film world and head for the ashram.
Before becoming an ashramite, I had to go through a preparatory phase where I spent 10 days in a meditation camp. That was quite an experience.
Normally, people think meditation calms you down. But it can actually make you go through all kinds of experiences. It can frighten you, agitate you, irritate you. You might want to run away from it. But if you have the blessings of a sadguru like Osho, you can come out unscathed.
Those were the days when Osho was being criticised by people all over. But still, the number of his followers kept increasing. We all used to wear orange robes back then. Orange, signifying fire, the fire of knowledge. Many people thought I was crazy to leave the glamorous world of films. But for me, at that time, it was the best place to be in.
Osho told us about all the sages down the ages and what they preached. He told us about how to get on with our work without getting attached to anything. He answered questions that were raised by Oshoites. What's more, he knew how to get you to answer your own questiiiions too. It is an amasing feeling when your mind finally becomes silent - when there are no questions.
When I moved with him to Rajneeshpuram at Oregon in the United States, I was asked to work as a gardener. Bhagwan knew which disciple of his had what problem and how to rectify it. He took you through this journey which could be extremely tiring. Sometimes I used to wonder how I would cope with it. But he gave me the strenght.
After four years, the most painful part was when he wanted me to leave the ashram and test myself in the "real world". When the master pulls himself away, you feel helpless. But for me, coming back helped to cultivate detachment and practise what I learned from him. Today, I don't need to visit the ashram for spiritual sustenance. I just need to sit in a quiet room and meditate. That helps me cope.
( The Hindustan Times )