Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Writers wanted for two new columns in the Viha Connection!

The Viha Connection would like to preserve stories about people’s personal experiences with Osho. As more and more of the people attracted to Osho and His work are people who never met Him in life, these stories become ever more precious.

We aren’t getting any younger, as the cliché goes, so we’d like to gather these while many of us who knew Him or sat with Him are still in the body.

We invite anyone with a good story to tell to send us articles of around 1,200 words or less in length. We will keep these to run in an ongoing column on the history of Osho and the community. We will be glad to get any fun and interesting stories. Some ideas are stories about:

· Meeting Osho when He was younger, when He was a teacher or traveling around the country

· People who had Osho stay at their houses or at their parents’ houses

· People who had tea with Him and corresponded with Him

· The meditation camps held around India in the early 1970s

· The big gatherings where Osho spoke in the early days

· Meeting Osho at Woodlands apartments in Mumbai

· The Kailash community Osho had a few people set up in the 1970s

· Setting up the early ashram in Pune in 1974

· Darshans and energy darshans

· Meeting Osho as a child in the community

· Other meetings with Osho during His life

If you know of anyone who might have a good story, particularly a story of the earliest days of Osho’s work, please pass this invitation along.

If you have photos from the time period you write about, please include them. Again, electronically is best; we need high resolution (300 dpi).

We are also looking for a new kind of article for its Skillful Means column. In the past we’ve run articles about practitioners and the modalities they use. Now we would like to invite people to write short articles (around 500 words) that provide our readers with information on specific techniques the readers can use.

These can be physical techniques, meditation techniques, healing techniques, and so on. We, of course, don’t give medical advice to people, but if you have useful techniques readers can use we would like to facilitate that sharing.

If you have a wonderful meditation technique you picked up from a Tibetan lama in the Himalayas or a great exercise to reduce back pain or the perfect solution to insomnia or the recipe for a heavenly homemade massage oil that you are willing to share, we would like to hear from you.

Writers of these skillful means articles don’t need to purchase advertisements in the magazine, as writers of more promotional articles need to do. If you have a service or product people in the community might be interested in, we encourage you to advertise anyway and support the Viha Connection.

For both kinds of articles we ask for electronic submissions in Microsoft Word. Please send them to oshoviha (at)

Love from the Editorial Board of the Viha Connection

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New books by an Osho sannyasin

A Spellbinding Journey of the Heart

The Ashoka Chronicles by Premesh Alan Bassett

Reviewed by Swami Budhuram

I knew Premesh in Pune in the 1980s and was intrigued when I recently saw his photo on Facebook connected with an advertisement for “esoteric novels.” His books had received some great reviews on Amazon from sannyasins, so I got curious and ordered the first book in the series, The Buddha Conspiracy.

I was hooked from the first page until I finished the second book, The Last Turn of the Wheel. I had to wait a month before The Great Debacle, the third and final book of the series, came out in print. Milarepa had read it when it was still in manuscript form, and he described it as “sensational.” When I completed the book, I had to agree. I won’t give away the thrilling conclusion about whether the Buddha Conspirators save a self-destructive humanity from annihilation in the holocaust, but I will say that the final chapters blew away all of my ideas about how the story would end and surpassed my wildest imagination and greatest expectations.

This is the only series of novels I have seen that is based on the theme of the transformation of human consciousness, both individual and collective, and that integrates a variety of meditations and Masters into the story line. As another reviewer described it, “It is an epic adventure of the human soul, a tale of international intrigue worthy of the best James Bond thriller, set against the backdrop of the world's great religions and man's quest for spiritual freedom.”

The adventure takes the reader on a rollicking world tour from London and Paris to Srinagar and Mumbai, from Seattle to Luang Prabang, from Varanasi and Bodhgaya to Lhasa and Goa, from Thailand to Bhutan, not to mention a side trip to the Heart of the World and to some of the world’s oldest Buddhist temples at Angkor Wat and Anuradhapura. Oh, there is more: a magical, unforgettable, and harrowing journey along the Silk Road that transports the reader to the ancient cities of Samarkand and Kashgar and leads up the dizzying heights of the Karakorum Mountains as the hero makes his way to Kashmir. As Devananda, one of the main characters, advises, “Get ready for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.”

The main characters are portrayed with depth and sensitivity as they face their worst fears and greatest challenges along the path to the unknown, and yet they exhibit lightness and humor in the midst of the dark political and religious conflicts in which they get embroiled. The author provides a rich historical background for the plot that often propelled me into a dream world where it was difficult to separate fact from fiction. As such, he has created a worthy allegory of the perilous predicaments facing our contemporary world. I had the mysterious feeling I was taking the whole journey with Osho sitting by my side.

The Ashoka Chronicles are available from Viha

Sourced from Viha Connection magazine