Interviews

with

Avinash

"Nothing to do, nothing to improve, just be."

 



Interview for 'Sein Magazin' - Berlin
2004

Question 1)-What do you teach?
I teach love. Not the love you are used to in your ideas around relationships.
When you love yourself unconditionally and allow yourself to let go of arrogant separation of I am so and so, your so called problems lose their power over you or they simply dissolve into clarity, silence - this silence goes beyond time and understanding of who you really are beyond the appearances, mind, body and emotions. Here-this moment you find peace.
Once this is experienced you can never forget. You will always be happy to welcome peace again and again, because this is your true nature - simply being in the moment - nothing to do, nothing to improve, just be.

2-What happens in a Satsang with you?
Satsang means meeting in truth.
In a meeting with me experiencing inner silence, love and peace just happens effortlessly.
People are invited to ask questions about their own life and difficulties, whatever is hindering them to find happiness and understanding.
Here, there are no good or bad questions. Every question is an attempt to get into the moment into clarity and peace. So: welcome. By opening your heart to that mystery you will be surprised. Suddenly what seemed to be your problem, becomes the problem of existence itself. In that way it stops to exist. Learn not to identify yourself with what is perishable and will pass some day, but stay with what never changes - your true being - simply being here and now.
In this way it becomes easy to deal with situations in the day to day life in a new light, by seeing that everything happens in duality: man-woman, day-night, good-bad, happiness-frustration, poverty-richness etc..

3-How can that which is experienced in Satsang be taken into day to day life?
When you learn to see and understand the nature of duality, for what it really is, then you act according to the moment.
When you need to do an action you act freshly from the moment and you do not just react out of habit and ego trip. When you have nothing to do, do nothing, just keep quiet. Watch the thoughts in your mind and stay in peace.

4-Does it need a master to find the truth which is our own Self and our nature - already inside of us?
The master is your own Self and is already inside of you. Like my master Papaji would say „Behind the retina of your own eyes...“ very intimate. Open your eyes, see and accept your true nature trusting and humble.
Still, by my own experience it's helpful to be close to someone that has realized the Self - this someone should touch your heart and bring you peace.
Remember:with 'to be close' I do not necessarily mean physically close. When there is no possibility of being physically close, stay close from the heart, then there is no distance.

5-How did you come in contact with what you are teaching?
What I am teaching is love for truth and that has no time, but has been there since my childhood. Meeting Osho in 1977 intensified a sincere search for true reality - in this honesty I worked in communes all over the world and worked with people as a therapist and travelled everywhere; always with only one priority: to find my true Self.
Only when I met Sri Poonjaji (Papaji) in 1991 I realized the Self, and still remained for 6 years in His physical presence - attending his Satsangs.

In a private meeting he told me to speak the silence I had found - giving the example of Buddha who became enlightened with 29 years and spoke for the rest of his life. 'You have to speak' He said pointing a finger at my face.
On this occasion he also said that Avinash and Gyandeva (my partner) will bring many people here. That is what we are doing: travelling from here to there, everywhere to bring people here, to this moment, where there is full acceptance of what is.

6-What actually is your teaching?
Speaking the silence... touching the heart...
Showing the presence of this moment - Where there is peace, love and happiness in simply being.

7-Can Satsang with you help me to improve my life?
Yes. Leave aside the confusion of a thinking mind and enjoy your life.

8-Do you use any technique in your work?
What I do has nothing to do with the techniques I learned in the past. It is an expression of my own experience of the moment. Seeing the person and the situation as it is and answering to THAT.
In this freedom I may choose to use some cards from the Tarot, or talk about energy and chakras. That happens mostly in the individual sessions, if that is what the situation is asking for: clarification of day to day issues.
Whatever I choose to do, the point to reach is always the same: to find out who you really are beyond your ideas, concepts, pre-concepts, conditioning and attachments.
Experience THAT which is HERE - in this knowing and understanding lies your true and everlasting happiness.

9-What means to realize the Self? Something happened to you - some experience?
To realize the Self means to know who you really are beyond the body, beyond the mind, beyond the emotions. It cannot be just an intellectual understanding.
It is the direct experience of what one cannot explain - beyond words... a jump into the unknown where all disappears, a zero, space-less, nothing is left.
From that no one can speak! Still one tries to express this mystery, this silence.

10-Did you have a teacher?
My teachers are Osho and Papaji.
Osho taught me to trust... not in him as a person, but in trust itself. To live life as it comes... not get identified with the mind and the emotions... to be the watcher on the hill... and to remain true to the priority in life which is to find my Self whatever happens.
In those years, dedicated to him and his work, I became a therapist and worked and lived all over the world.
After he left his body I was drawn to Papaji, in whose presence, by His grace, the final experience and conviction of who I really am happened.
He said he has no teaching, ... no student. In his Satsangs in the power of his presence he would invite people to inquire „Who am I?“ The same way his master Ramana Maharshi used to indicate the truth to people.
In my case, when Papaji heard my name, Prem Avinash, that had been given by Osho and means 'eternal love', he bowed his head in namaste, laughing and saying that the name was very beautiful, that the heart was dancing, happy, in ecstasy.

 

B) Interview for Osho Connection Brazil
by Prasado -November 2004, Poona, India

Prasado:
'Beloved Avinash,
We are now starting our interview for the Osho Brazil Connection - month of December.
Please, tell us how you heard of Osho, your meeting with the Master and your experience with sannyas.'

Avinash:
How I first heard of Osho:
'It was a day in spring in 1977. I was only 16 years of age. I was in a park chatting with some girlfriends when we saw two young boys. They were walking and were dressed in orange colours. They were wearing a mala (a chain with wooden beads) with the photo of someone. Then I said: “They could be hippies, maybe?"
One of the girls then said that she had already talked with them and that they were disciples of a spiritual master that lived in India.
Something in me changed completely and soon came a certain “urgency” of something that I could not explain...

Since my childhood I already live connected with spiritual life. I had gone through many experiences that could not be explained in the normal world.
Once I went into a such a deep state of ecstasy and transparency that I lost completely the contact with the world and the people.
My prayers were simple. I thanked existence for everything that had happened to me during the day... good or not so good. I talked with the animals... with the trees.
I perceived that the trees were talking to each other... and I felt an immense quietness and the sensation that there was no separation. Tears would often be there.

On that same day, in the same park, I talked with the “sannyasins” (meaning 'the one who renounced') and asked everything about the Master. The thirst for Truth made me want to know everything in small details. The sannyasins were going to meditate by the river and invited us to join them. Two of us went.
We arrived and sat in silence by the river.
When I started making more questions, they said they didn't want to talk and that the meditation was simply being in silence, alert of everything around us, of the breath etc..
I sat then in a lotus posture, closed my eyes and felt the nature alive, silent and clear. The sound of the water from the river on the rocks was like a melody.Life simply happening from moment to moment. Time stopped, and the thinking mind too.
When the meditation finished, I was transformed. And in that same moment I asked what I would have to do to become a sannyasin.
At that time there was no material translated to Portuguese that we could read. Only some lines translated from a small newspaper that used to come from Poona-India. But there was no need to read much, because what was being transmitted by Osho was beyond words, time or space.
I filled in and sent the formular asking to become a sannyasin to Poona.
To my surprise a sister of mine also decided to “jump" into this new way of living - and dying.
We started doing meditation techniques, we coloured all our clothes into orange and waited for the letter that would bring our new name. A whole month passed.
One day, when I arrived home from school, there weas a letter from India. My name became 'Ma Prem Avinash', and my sister got the name 'Ma Prem Nitya'.
Both names have the same meaning: eternal love. The letter had been signed by Osho himself. We felt drunk and very happy. The feeling was that the whole existence was sharing that moment with us.
From then on my life started to be around Osho and his work. I started making the meditation techniques and also became a meditation leader. I worked with therapy groups and lived in many meditation centers all over Brazil.
There was a time when I used to wake up in the morning, did meditation, then I would go to work in a bank. After 8 hours of work, I would lead meditations in the meditation center, after that I would go for dinner with the other sannyasins. I would go back home late in the night... but happy.
The mind is what creates confusion, when we follow the thoughts and identify ourselves with them. Watching the thoughts, we discover that they get dissolved into silence.'

 

The meeting with the Master
'Only one priority in life: How to find who I really am?
I knew (or I though I knew) that many things would have to change around me, so I could understand something inside myself. There was no other way... I had made a compromise with sannyas (that means to renounce what I am not) and I was ready to risk all what would be needed to lift the veil of ignorance, of the unconscious mind.
I was living in a meditation center in the south of Brazil, when one day, in the year of 1982, arrived some news that the first annual celebration in the physical presence of Osho would be happening, and all the sannyasins should participate.
I just had become 21 years of age, and this allowed me to travel abroad without the family´s permission.
The problem was that I was working in the bank, no holidays possible at that time, and with no money to travel and be in America.
I stayed the whole night awake... looking to a photo of Osho that would tell me: “If you like to come you can, and I want you to come... COME!” The whole night between tears, ecstasy and uncertainty. I would say that I could not go and he would say “Come!” When the sun came up I was completely silent and clear.
I will go! I started then to make the practical preparations for the journey. Like passport, dollars, ticket and visa.
When I told my older brother that I was going to the USA to see the Master, he tried to convince me that to spend the money on a car would make more sense instead of going travelling. Then I told him that there was nothing more important in my life then to meet the Master personally.
When the visa was given, after an interview, I could not keep the tears back. They could not understand the importance. Inside of me a tremendous happiness. I will see my Master in person!
After a lot of comings and goings I signed my leaving letter from the bank and received some money for the three years I had been working there.
The day of the travel arrived. Together with other sannyasins, we got into the plane that would take us to the feet of our beloved Master.
When we arrived in Rajneeshpuram - Oregon we were distributed into tents. There we would stay during the festival.
In the afternoon there was a possibility to see Osho driving by in his car, maybe, when he would go out. I remember to be next to a road with some sannyasins, and suddenly someone shouted: “I think it is Osho in that car!” I went up to the road quickly and saw that it was the car of Osho, and I was face to face with Him!
The happiness, the peace, the love, and everything I felt cannot be put into words. With a graceful smile he did Namasté (Indian greeting) with only one hand, because the other one was driving the car, and went.
Wow! What happened? Time stopped. The unknown arrived and with it eternity!
Another day was my birthday and I asked for a ”front seat” to sit closer to Him in discourse. The person asked me if it was my body- or sannyas birthday. I simply said that it was not important, that I just wanted to be with my master... that´s all. She smiled and gave me a seat very close and in front of him. To be face to face with Osho was intense and floating. When he looked into my eyes I saw simplicity, nothingness, transparency, and that everything is perfect as it is.
Since this day I understand how simple and at the same time extraordinary it is to BE.'

My experience with sannyas
'Being back in Brazil my whole life changed. Without work, I would stay awake the whole night, meditating and looking into the clouds passing by.
At this time, many visions, past life memories, understanding about life, of reality, of what I really want. For me, since I took “sannyas” the priority was clear:
To find myself! This resolve gave me courage and trust to go ahead - to go beyond the known!
Osho´s work had to continue! What he had come across was possible to everyone! Because that is our own nature! I heard him saying: “You are already a Buddha. Open your eyes and remember who you really are in reality. Find the understanding that goes beyond the body, the mind and the emotions. Become innocent again, humble and alert. Celebrate and live in the moment.”
I lived during this time in many places in Brazil like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Porto Alegre, Florianópolis etc. working as a therapist, sharing Osho.
In 1984 I was back in the USA for another festival in the presence of Osho. From there I went straight to Europe, together with other South Americans. The idea of the community in Oregon was to create a strong energy field for the work of Osho around the world, by mixing the cultures.
For me it was an opportunity to be nearer to Osho and to invest all the energy into my inner growth.
I went to Germany. First to Cologne, after a month to Hamburg where I stayed for longer time, then Hannover. Later also in Italy.
In these communities, the work that I usually did was to coordinate the kitchen and the cleaning departments, or in the bar of the discos. I didn't like to work in the discos, because I had difficulties to sleep during the day. I didn't like the movement and the stink of cigarettes. Still it was clear for me that my work was to be with myself and to find happiness that goes beyond the liking and disliking. Beyond the duality of the mind.
In the evening, after the work, videos of Osho were shown. He spoke in English. At that time I didn't understand English very good, but even then, and with all the tiredness of a long day of work I wouldn't miss any discourse. It always made me happy to see Osho and be in meditation.
In the beginning of 1986 Osho returned to India, after travelling all over the world. Exactly at that time I was in Cologne - Germany, working to go and see Him in India. In this fase of my life I used to meditate a lot.
One day I wrote a letter to Osho that expressed my gratitude and saying that I loved Him very much... and together with these words I draw a tree, a flower, a boat...
The answer from Osho said:
“The heart knows no language. It knows how to love, It knows how to be grateful.
It knows how to be open. It knows how to come so close to the Master, that you are consumed in the very silence of the Master. And his silence becomes your silence, and his truth becomes your truth. This is the mystery that happens between the Master and the disciple.”
Soon after that I was in the community in Poona. Again, to be in the presence of Osho was a great happiness. I had no other interest then to meditate, to be, do trainings and to participate in the expansion of the sannyas world.
In the ashram (community) in Poona I worked in the “School of Mysticism” giving sessions in Counselling, Tarot and Chakra-Energy Balancing. I also did translations of Osho books to Portuguese, and translated therapy groups for Brazilians that didn't know English well.
It was in one of these therapy group translations, in January 1989, that I came to know my partner Dhyandeva (now Gyandeva). He was then one of the therapists.
In Germany sometimes I did also cleaning jobs, so I could have enough money for India.
All the time and money was being invested into know myself into the expansion of conciousness.'

Prasado:
'Beloved Avinash,
So... we go on with our talk. This is the next question:
We see that you had rich experiences in the communes where you had been, and also with Master Osho – A gift that few human being had.
Today you and your partner Gyandeva travel to many countries giving Satsang (meeting in Truth), therapy groups, meditations, endlessly sharing the experiences you had.
Now, lets talk about enlightenment. How to explain something that seems not to be of this world? What do you answer when someone ask you if you are enlightened?'
 
Avinash:
'Beloved Prasado.
Now the answer:

Enlightenment is beyond the mind. Beyond the duality of this and that. You are in communion with the whole.
You wake up to the reality that you are just passing by on this planet.
You start then living from moment to moment, transcending time, and getting into a new dimension of knowledge.
This state of consciousness beyond the mind is possible to everyone.
This reality is experienced as a jump into the unknown. You become Being, or better, you remember that you are already what you are searching for, and relax into the Now, in love and acceptance of what is.
Each human being sooner or later will have to face up to its limitations, its own masks and confused mind. It will see that too much energy is being thrown away in tensions, sufferings, frustrations, etc. and one clings to it as if it was a great thing. And life ends up being very heavy to live.
I heard Osho saying: “Be in the world but don't belong to it”.
The mind identifies itself with “I am so and so, I think and I feel...”. It runs to fulfill the desires, and ends up forgetting that everything goes. And that with desire comes the frustration. Happiness is in the journey itself and not at its end.
Watching the thoughts you end up perceiving the silent moments between one thought and another, you see that they come and disappear... that they are not permanent...
Then comes an urgency to know who I am in reality, beyond the body, the mind and the emotions.
This urgency becomes priority. The energy directs itself to this rediscovery, while one lives in the moment, celebrating and trusting in trust itself.
Here, the doors open for the birth of a 'new man'. Sincere, innocent, silent, laughing, ALIVE!
There is a moment where a “jump” into reality happens by itself, in the divine grace... and dissolves 'you' as an 'I'.
You, literally, LIVE existence itself before the appearance of the world.
What I express here cannot be called experience, because there is no one experiencing, but in this 'happening', there is a moment that everything dissolves completely... an explosion into nothingness... you are thrown into nothingness... where there is no up nor down, no sides, no colours, no sky, no sea.... absolutely nothing... not even space.
The understanding is that we are existence itself... that which is never born and will never die... that is eternal.
After an experience like this you live life in tune with reality.
The duality of life continues, but the actions happen according to the moment - accepting what is.
Everything changes, and at the same time nothing changes.
Finally coming back home... to simply being.
Here, the freedom!

When someone asks me if I am enlightened, I send another question asking: “Lets first see what you understand by enlightenment.”
The masters speaks in different ways to express this phenomenon, it seems even a joke, is already are own nature.
Osho used the word 'enlightenment'. Each person translates it in his own way according to his personality or level of understanding, with what he believes.
The truth is: everyone forgets that true realization is beyond ideas, concepts, pre-concepts, of how an enlightened being has to be, act or feel. An enlightened being is unenforceable. He flows with existence and is rarely understood.
There is an story told by Osho that I love very much:
“A king went to visit a great master for the first time. When he arrived he was received by a very simple man who was working in the gardener.
He said he wanted to see the master and the gardener brought him to a room telling him to wait a little bit and that the master would come soon.
The king went into the room, sat down and waited.
Suddenly he saw the gardener arrive and sit on the master's chair.
That was too much. He became very angry and said: 'Stand up from this chair immediately. Stupid man. You are disrespecting the master.'
The gardener left the chair, sat on the floor and said: 'Now the chair is empty and the master will not come, because I am the master!'
And the king lost the opportunity.”
This story shows the simplicity of being and how the human mind works.
I heard Osho also saying that many people fall in the illusion “I arrived... I became enlightened”, but the ego – the “I” shows itself coming from the back door.
Poonjaji (Papaji) used to say: “I arrived! - Arrogance. I am still searching! - Also arrogance.”
Beyond duality is the answer... in the mystery... in being... and it's spread to everyone who is capable to open the heart to this mystery.
I like to use to word realization, and I can say that I realized my work of finding myself.
Now, coming from my own experience I share, together with Gyandeva, this space of 'simply being'. We show to friends in our meetings that it is possible to let go of the illusion and live in peace... love... and in union with Truth – here and now.


Prasado:
'Beloved Avinash,
Very authentic your answer about enlightenment. You are in a very beautiful space, doesn't matter the name it has. You yourself gave a name to this space: Simply Being.'

Avinash:
'Osho´s message number one: the meeting with oneself in the essence, in consciousness.
To illustrate this, here are some words of Osho himself to Gyandeva em Poona-1980 when he gave him sannyas initiation:
“Meditation means a state of no mind: simply looking, simply sitting, simply being. In the moment you are in this space, you know what God is. And to know God is to know all. To know God is to be a God. This is the unfolding of your being, of the one thousand petals of the lotus of consciousness.
This is the goal of sannyas.”

I heard Osho saying that it is possible for enlightenment to happen this very moment.
Listened to your own heart... and trust... not in someone in particular, but in trust itself... and have the courage to live in the moment, to investigate the truth of Being.'


Avinash speak´s about her experience when Osho left the body:
I was living in Munich (Germany) together with Gyandeva. One day in the month of September or October 1989, I had a clear perception that I would have to go to Poona in January. I shared my decision with Gyandeva. He, on that same night, had a dream with Osho and the commune and decided to join me.
On the next day we started to see the possibilities of how to make more money in a short period of time for our journey.
In the beginning of January we arrived in Goa. After few days we took the bus to Poona. Arriving in the Buddha Hall (meditation room), we received the news that Osho would not give a discourse on that evening. Next day the same thing.
On the third evening of the 19th of January 1990, still at home preparing myself to go to the ashram, I opened an Osho book at a random page. This should be the Master´s message to me.
It said: “The Master was dying and the disciple asked: 'Master, what is your last message?' - The Master let go of a lions roar and died.”
This was the most strange message that I could have received in my life. A little impressed, Gyandeva and I went to the Buddha Hall.
Instead of Osho appearing for the discourse, his doctor came announcing that Osho had left the body. Gyandeva and I held hands for some instants... then we were by ourselves digesting the intensity of the moment. In my consciousness it was a huge YES. Yes to existence itself as it is.
This, this, this... one thousand times this!
In that night in the ashram, the food was there available and nobody ate.
We all went to the cremation grounds to see the body of our beloved Master be cremated and transformed into ashes. And to experience that life continues... that the love and the presence stay, even when the body is gone.
What a lesson! What a compassion! What a love! What a luck to be there... in that moment... experiencing all that.
Osho had said he was dissolved in everything. That is true. I walked through the streets and could see him, feel his presence in the birds, in the trees, in the people...

Avinash speaks about her life after she met Sri Poonjaji (Papaji):
"After one and a half years that Osho had left the body, existence took me to be in the presence of Papaji. I never felt any separation, not even for a moment.
There, in Lucknow in the north of India, many sannyasins started arriving to see Papaji.
Many old sannyasins that lived in the ashram since the beginning of the Osho movement, center leaders from all over the world and therapists were coming..
In the presence of Papaji they laughed, shared and also asked questions. Some stayed, others left, some returned. The motive for the attraction were very diverse.
Some went against Osho. Then my work became to call their attention for creating separation because of arrogance???
Papaji for sure is a great Master, a true Guru (Sadguru). Different from Osho in the way of being, but who is equal in this world? The essence is the same...
The same love, the same compassion and the peace that comes from the source, from the silence... one heart... one consciousness.
I felt Osho with me always. Through many experiences... there was no doubt. He is with me wherever I go.
Papaji told me to speak the silence I have found like the Buddha did after his realization.
So, the work continues: sharing “Simply Being” with the ones that feel touched.
Seeing reality in oneness, truth and love.

Avinash today:
'I continue to spread the message of Osho and Papaji, also of other realized beings like
Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, Jesus, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ranjit Maharaj... .
What I express comes from my own experience and from the moment. Into silence... clarity love.
The work that Gyandeva and I created called: 'Simply Being' is shared through Meetings, Intensives, Courses, Sessions, and Retreats.
This sharing is happening in Brazil, India and Germany.'


E-mail: info(at)avinash-gyandeva.com