Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Book Review of "Krishna - The Man and His Philosophy" by Osho

This is the first book of Osho's that I have ever read.

I had quite a few pre-conceived ideas about Osho till now(not all of them complimentary) based on whatever I had heard about him over the years. The irony is that most of the times, the people who were speaking to me about him were actually praising him. However, the idea was firmly set in my mind that Osho’s teachings were the direct opposite of what Vivekananda, a hero to me since childhood, professed.

Perhaps this was why I could never bring myself to actually read much of Osho’s works. A paragraph here and there was fine but I really couldn’t shake off the idea that here was essentially just an intelligent man playing to the galleries.

That was till I read “Krishna – The Man and His Philosophy.”

I still don’t agree with everything that Osho writes, there are still questions unanswered, doubts which raise their head when I traverse through some of the answers that Osho gives, but it is difficult to refute the fact that one is forced to think, and think hard, about some very interesting ideas that Osho discusses. And that is what makes reading Osho so much fun.

“Krishna – The Man and His Philosophy” is basically conversations which Osho has with his followers during a ten day meditation course at Manali in 1970. What begins as a free-wheeling discussion on the personality of the historical figure called Krishna becomes nothing short of an interpretation of the essence of The Bhagavad Gita.

Nor is Krishna the only personality discussed. Constant parallels are drawn with Buddha, Mahavir, Christ and Mohammed. What is refreshing to see is that Osho doesn’t just extol the virtues of any one of these great personalities. He points out the ideologies of each of them, leaving for us to decide which “path” we choose to seek.

Seekers such as Diogenes, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Tagore and Krishnamurthy are also spoken of. Enjoyable, memorable and hence, recall-worthy anecdotes about each of them are scattered throughout the book. Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry (whose identity I was initially confused about since Osho kept referring to him simply as ‘Aravind’), however, comes in for severe criticism.

What made the book most enjoyable was the fact that Osho keeps narrating one anecdote after another to drive home his point. Albeit these sometimes simplify the message to a great degree, they are nonetheless essential for a beginner (like myself) to understand the core of what Osho is trying to convey.

A great book, if for nothing else but for its ability to force you to think (rethink?) about religious and spiritual stand-points. An absolute must-read.


Mansee's Point Of View! said...

Sounds interesting! Wl have to start this one soon..

Shekhar said...

Oh you would really like it. :)

Bubblegum.... said...

Where are you? No new blog post since so so so so many days!

Shekhar said...

Bubblegum: Writer's block. :(