The Diamond Sword: A review

Hindustan Times carries an astrology section on Sunday which is based on Tarot Card readings for different zodiac signs done by a very well known Tarot expert. As a kid, I would meticulously go through what she had to say and see how well it conformed with reality. On the upper left hand section of the same page was a small section carrying a note or message on spirituality and wellness by Osho, the 'Zen Master'. The little snippet always brought a sense of calm and serenity with it. So, when, while browsing through Jaico Books' catalog for the month of August, I came across a book on Osho, I ordered it immediately.

As Osho's followers and most of the well-informed public would be aware, he has never written a book. But, his wisdom has traveled through books written about him and his revolutionary practices. Also, there have been numerous literary translations of his interaction with journalists all from all over the world. 'The Diamond Sword: Rediscovering Meditation, the forgotten treasure of India' is one such translation.

I must admit it did not quite enlighten me on meditation, the way the title claims to, but, then, you can't really expect a book to teach you meditation, do you?
Instead, this book is about Osho and his re-discovery of the forgotten treasures of India. Osho speaks at length about the richness of our heritage, about how, while we're trying so hard to imitate them, the West has been going gaga over our knowledge of yoga and meditation. Very Baba Ramdev, you'd say? Hardly so, Osho understand the exact problems that ail our society. He does not wish to go around teaching renunciation and meditation to all and sundry because he reasons, there is no wisdom or enlightenment to be found in poverty. A poor man can only be concerned about finding the next morsel of food, yet alone try to unravel the mysteries of the Universe. It's because of rational statements of the type above that edged me on to reading the book till the end.

Osho is, as the British government describes him, 'intellectually brilliant'. He targets the wafer-thin moral backbone of our society, the materialism and the clinging on to meaningless icons which hamper us on the path to fulfillment and happiness.

Sample this: While in the US, Osho gathered a commune of five thousand people in a desert and, over a period of five years, transformed it into an oasis swarming with sanyasins full of love and tranquility. however, the US government arrested him on account of a hundred and thirty six charges.
Why? He was only a peaceful sanyasin. But, the American novelist, Tom Robbins described him as 'the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ'.
What is it about his ideology and method that entices such a antagonistic reaction from the governments of twenty one countries? Read the series of books on Osho to find out.

'The Diamond Sword',  available under 'Religion and Philosophy', published by Jaico Books. You can browse for more details at

'Become Natural, become ordinary, live in equanimity, and do not remain unacquainted with the secret that is hidden within you' says Osho, the Zen Master.

An apple a day...

A couple of weeks back I had an itch. A common place, everyday itch at a not so important spot on my leg. So, obviously, I scratched it and watched a tiny little red bump appear. All normal, everyday events, you might say. By nightfall it had a white head and I cursed and shook my fist angrily at it. A couple of days went by with it becoming angrier looking and gaining in size. I was having a gala time celebrating the mid-week break India's independence earned us and gave it a little lotion. The next day, it started hurting and emanating heat. I knew it was an infection and could possibly spread but acting on my 'no-bacteria-can-harm-me' arrogance, I washed down a pain killer and went to sleep. During this whole ordeal, I had for company a bunch of well-wishers who kept pestering me to see a doctor. Of course my reply to that was always two yeahs and a nod with an inward gladness for having caring people around. But, after a couple of days of pestering, I semi-acquiesced by calling up my mother and giving her an account of the now rapidly expanding wound. She gave me some advice and prescribed medicine, asking me to further visit a doctor whenever I get a day off from work. So, I started the medication and also took to cleaning and dressing the wound, only too glad to have the medico genes kick in. The infection was getting contained and the pain had disappeared, I was so happy on having saved myself on costly consultations. Then Nature unleashed it's fury. I was sitting in office one day when 'it' gave me the impression of being on fire. It burnt and when I removed the bandage to check, the skin was indeed discolored. I'd only applied savlon to it and covered it up, an act, my doctor told me later, that would've worked on an ordinary wound but not on an infected one. The pain I experienced this time was enough for me to pick up the phone and make an appointment with a doctor.

It is not everyday that a twenty two year old, independent woman staying away from home gets a scolding. So, when the MD, after patiently listening to my story, put his pen down and looked at me squarely before delivering me a sermon on 'how could you neglect yourself so?' He injected me with a local anesthetic and cleaned out the wound. It was deep, around a inch and half into my flesh and equally wide in diameter. It took me six days to gather the courage to look at it. A literal hole in my leg. Every second day I had to visit him to get it cleaned, stuffed with medicine and bandaged. And oh god, did the whole procedure hurt!

Today, at the end of the second week (it's been fifteen days since my first visit and it still hasn't closed up), all DIY doctor-giri has left my system. No matter now innocent looking the cut or infection or wound may be, I am visiting a professional straightaway. There are only a few things in life that can never be compromised upon, health being on top of the list. No matter what the expense or discomfort involved, it is always better to get professional advice before you end up damaging yourself. The professional always knows better and it never hurts to get some help.

An apple a day isn't always enough to keep the doctor away.