One of the greatest spiritual masters that India has produced in the recent times was Acharya Rajneesh. He was popularly known as Osho. The amount of knowledge Acharya Rajneesh poured into his discourses was immense. He never wrote any books. He gave discourses and lectures to the live audience, answering their questions impromptu. In his discourses he has covered several topics & books – Bhagwad Geeta, Upanishads, books on Buddhism, Jesus, Buddha and many other personalities. They were all recorded in almost 300+ books. Acharya Rajneesh was born as Chandra Mohan Jain in 1931. He merged into the Infinite in 1990, at the age of 59.
“Flight of Alone to the Alone” is based on Osho’s talks on Kaivalya Upanishad. It is a search for ultimate freedom. It begins with a prayer to strengthen the senses. The senses are said to be the door to experiencing the divine, a means to freedom. Kaivalya means the moment in your consciousness when you are utterly alone, but you do not feel lonely.
Some excerpts from the book:
- The divine and the world are not two things. The divine that comes within the grasp of of our sense organs we call ‘the world’, and the divine that doesn’t come within the grasp of the sense organs we call ‘the divine’. (6)
- The images of the divine are an effort to explain the inexplicable, to make it a little more accessible to the intellect and the senses. (13)
- In ignorance many diseases surround you; in knowledge only one disease – ego – surrounds you. But remember one thing; all diseases combined are nothing compared to the disease of ego. (80)
- Experience is born through the balanced process of negative and the positive. The negative and positive are two legs needed to reach the divine. (91)
- What you call happiness is just a pleasant excitement that fits in with your belief system. (109)
- Whenever someone searches for the ultimate truth, he feels a need to name the truth. (183)
- Until you see the divine in the enemy, seeing it in a friend is only a formality. (298)
- What you call ‘bad’ and what you call ‘good’ depend on your viewpoint. It is your idea about what is good and what is bad. From the side of the whole [existence] …where is there any question of good or bad? In fact good and bad don’t exist. (384)
Read the point 2 in accordance with point 6 of The Journey Home. A great reminder that image & idols that are worshipped are just for our convenience, nothing more. Combine this with point 6 now. We worship God in several forms and names – Lord Shiva, Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, Parvati Ma, Sita Ma & Radha Rani! So many beautiful forms and names, that God has taken for our convenience. Lord is so so magnanimous! How enchanting!
See point 4. Here author is talking about the experience of life, through the dualities. And now, see Point 7 and 8 talk about transcending dualities of life. Bhagwad Geeta 2.45 says:
त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन |
निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् || 45||
Meaning – The Vedas deal with the three modes of material nature, O Arjun. Rise above the three modes to a state of pure spiritual consciousness. Freeing yourself from dualities, eternally fixed in Truth, and without concern for material gain and safety, be situated in the self.
Basically it is just suggesting that after experiencing the dualities of life, again and again, and hence understanding their futility, one must accept both and then transcend them to reach the divine.
The book has more than 400 pages with 17 chapters. The original lectures on the Kaivalya Upanishad were published in Hindi in 1972 and later on translated to English. As with other books/lectures of Acharya Rajneesh, he goes great lengths to explain various concepts within the Upanishad. He explores, through his lectures, the nature of existence and tackles some of the life’s most fundamental challenges: achievement, success, loneliness, the eternal quest for happiness and freedom.