I remember, a few years ago, Madhya Pradesh High Court had ordered the Jabalpur Municipal Corporation to take care of this Maulshree tree, now known as Osho’s enlightenment tree. After the proper care and beautification, now the whole garden looks so majestic. After the Enlightenment, Osho started sharing the fragrance of enlightenment in  Jabalpur itself, his friends started organising his public talks at various places. He worked as a professor of philosophy in Robertson college, later known as Mahakaushal Mahavidyalaya. 

Osho remembers his college life as a student and also when he was teaching in the college: “I had enjoyed my student life immensely; whether people were against me, for me, indifferent, loved me, all those experiences were beautiful. All that helped me immensely when I myself became a teacher, because I could see the students’ viewpoint simultaneously when I was presenting mine.  Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.

“And my classes became debating clubs. Everybody was allowed to doubt, to argue. Once in a while somebody started worrying about what would happen to the course, because on each single point there was so much argument. I said, “Don’t be worried. All that is needed is a sharpening of your intelligence. The course is a small thing—you can read for it in one night. If you have a sharp mind, even without reading for it you can answer. But if you don’t have a sharp mind, even the book can be provided to you and you will not be able to find where the answer is. In a five hundred page book, the answer must be somewhere in one paragraph.”… 

“So my classes were totally different. Everything had to be discussed,  everything had to be looked into, in the deepest possible way, from  every corner, from every aspect—and accepted only if your intelligence felt satisfied. Otherwise, there was no need to accept it; we could continue the discussion the next day. And I was amazed to know that when you discuss something and discover the logical pattern, the whole fabric, you need not remember it. It is your own discovery; it remains with you. You cannot forget it. My students certainly loved me because nobody else would give them so much freedom, nobody else would give them so much respect, nobody else would give them so much love, nobody else would help them to sharpen their intelligence.” 

Many of the students taught by Osho in the college, fondly remember the time they spent with the enlightened master. Not just the students of his own philosophy class, but all the students of the college. He says: Then students—boys and girls who were not students of my subject—started asking me, ‘Can we also come?’ I said, ‘Philosophy has never been so juicy. Come! Anybody is welcome. I never take attendance. Every month, when the attendance register has to go back, I just fill it randomly—absent, present, absent, present. I just have to remember that everybody gets more than seventy-five percent present so they go to the examination. I don’t bother. So you can come.’ My classes were overpopulated. People were sitting in the windows. But they were really expected to be in some other class.” 

Osho was not born in Jabalpur–this was his rebirth, the real birth which is not the physical birth given by parents. Osho was born in Kuchwada, 150 kilometers away from Jabalpur. Osho talks about this small village: “I am reminded again of the small village where I was born. Why existence should have chosen that small village in the first place is unexplainable. It is as it should be. The village was beautiful. I have traveled far and wide but I have never come across that same beauty. One never comes again to the same. Things come and go, but it is never the same. I can see that still, small village. Just a few huts near a pond, and a few tall trees where I used to play. There was no school in the village. That is of great importance because I remained uneducated for almost nine years, and those are the most formative years. After that, even if you try, you cannot be educated. So in a way I am still uneducated, although I hold many degrees. Any uneducated man could have done it. And not any degree, but a first-class master’s degree—that too can be done by any fool. So many fools do it every year that it has no significance. What is significant is that for my first years I remained without education. There was no school, no road, no railway, no post office. What a blessing! That small village was a world unto itself. Even in my times away from that village, I remained in that world, uneducated.” 

After having his Master’s degree at Sagar University, and teaching  philosophy in the college in Jabalpur, Osho moved to Mumbai in 1970. On the day of his departure from Jabalpur, Osho is reported to have said: I will never forget Jabalpur, as it lives within me as my blood, bones, and marrow. 

But it is not just the blood, bones, and marrow–Osho attained to the highest peaks of consciousness in this very fortunate city of Jabalpur. Osho became as deep as Ocean and as high as the sunlit peaks of Mount Everest. How could Jabalpur forget this? The millions of seekers from all around the world came to Osho to sit at the feet of the Master wherever he traveled and transformed their life. It did take the city of Jabalpur 66 years to realise how blessed it is, but it is never too late. 

Recently, during Osho’s birthday celebrations, Bollywood filmmaker  Subhash Ghai urged the Madhya Pradesh government to set up a research centre in Jabalpur to study and teach the meditation techniques of Osho. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing three day Osho Festival here. “I request the Madhya Pradesh government to open a big research centre or an institute in Jabalpur where meditation techniques of Osho will be studied and taught. Meditation has great healing powers for the brain and relaxes the mind if practiced regularly.” 

And I am sure that this will be done in the near future. The birthday festival seems to have been organised with good intentions and total enthusiasm. It will have a chain effect and other states of India will also wake up to Osho, as the Veer Narmad University of South Gujarat woke up a couple of years ago. At the same, I hope the Osho Resort management in Pune will realise its mistake of stopping the celebrations of Osho Birthday, Osho Enlightenment Day, for the last two decades, as such celebrations used to attract thousands of Osho lovers from all around the world. The Hindustan Times dated 12th December lamented with its news: Commune wears deserted look as Osho followers in Pune celebrate birth anniversary elsewhere. And it added: A large number of his followers, however, held spirited celebrations outside the commune, at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial Hall. 

The Azad Memorial Hall has been the venue of such celebrations for the last many years in Pune, instead of Osho International Meditation Resort, where the whole world came to celebrate Osho’s birthday, Enlightenment day and Guru Purnima regularly, and it was also fully vibrant and alive for the whole year. It was a meeting place of friends and fellow travelers, and seekers on the path of love and meditation. It was Osho’s place in the true sense–and not of OSHO as a commercial trademark, for business only. 

Osho, the enlightened master, shares his vision about education for life: It is a very insane world in which we are living – where no education is given to people about the art of life, the art of love, the art of friendship, the art of silence, the art of meditation, and finally the art of death. These are the most essential things, and we are wasting almost one-third of people’s lives in teaching them about history, which is just shame and nothing else. We are teaching them about geography, which is mostly man-made: nations and their boundaries, which are ugly. We are not teaching them anything that can make their lives a search for truth, that can make their lives a rejoicing, that can fill their beings with so much fragrance that they will have to share it. Only in that sharing is there friendship, is there love, is there compassion. But we are keeping people from knowing this. Our whole education is rotten. It certainly makes you clerks, stationmasters, postmen, police commissioners. It gives you a livelihood, but it does not give you life, and it does not give you love. 

Let this insight become our guiding light–with gratitude to the master and reverence to the vision of all enlightened mystics Osho shares with us–from Ashtavakra to Zarathusthra, from Buddh to Baul mystics, Sufi and Zen masters, Tao and Tantra masters, Upanishadic and Hassidic masters. And all other mystics–Krishna, Gorakh, Mohammad, Nanak, Kabir, Meera, Rabiya, Daya, Sahajo and all.