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In memoriam



UNFORGETTABLE Osho

Osho, among the foremost (and some would say controversial) philosophers, preachers and mystics to have sprouted from the ancient Indian soil in the 20th Century would have celebrated his 75th birthday this year. To commemorate this event, a string of yearlong celebrations is currently underway, under the aegis of Oshoworld Foundation.

As part of this homage to their teacher, a classical music programme, Guru-Vandana, was organised the other day at the FICCI auditorium, along with the launch of a CD of Osho's discourse.

For someone who firmly believed that music provides the crucial plank that can uplift the human spirit to the heights of spirituality, there could have been no better tribute than recitals by renowned musicians - Dhrupad singer Ustad F. Wasifuddin Dagar and sitar exponent Ustad Usman Khan. At the onset of the soirée, the auditorium reverberated to an extract of Osho's discourse on the relevance of music as a therapeutic and spiritual medium; and the ambience for the evening was set.

Personal interactions

Before the concert, Ustad Usman Khan recounted his personal interactions with Osho on several occasions, dating to the early 1960s, when he used to visit Pune. "He had great love for music and musicians. Before starting any discourse he would meditate for some time, mostly to the accompaniment of background music." He added rather nostalgically, "Once I had the privilege of playing for him, while he meditated." The Ustad also commented about the "rather inconsistent attention span of audiences in India, particularly when compared to those abroad."

Similarly, Dagar reminisced that "the importance of the teachings of Osho have only increased over time and are, in fact, more pertinent in the current milieu than they were ever before." As a tribute to the philosopher/mystic, he interspersed his recital with a few verses from an old book written by Osho - and the magic spell was woven.

Osho, at the cost of attracting opprobrium, had always advocated the principles of universal oneness that outdo all divisions erected by man. As if on cue, Dagar commenced his recital with an invocation to Lord Brahma, making it apparent that no matter how hard the divisive forces of hatred strive, they cannot subdue the deep-rooted fabric of religious harmony in our society. Temporary setbacks, maybe; permanent damage is impossible. Osho would surely have concurred.

APS MALHOTRA

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