Osho: The First Buddha in the Dental Chair
- See also
- Review in Osho News, with links to excerpts
While on his ‘world tour’ Osho had sent word from his unknown whereabouts (later found to be Portugal) asking me to write a book detailing my life with him, to be entitled: Bhagwan, Messiah of Life, Love and Laughter: a subjective account of my life with the enlightened master, Bhagwan. He changed his name to Osho in 1989, and I later changed the title accordingly.
Osho The First Buddha in the Dental Chair: Amusing Anecdotes By His Personal Dentist, is the second book he asked me to write, in 1987. These dental anecdotes focus mainly on events, giving only a minimal background sketch of their historical context.
Osho: Messiah of Life, Love and Laughter, has a different focus. It follows the timeline from my first meeting with Bhagwan, to when he left his body as Osho. It contains details of time, place, people and situations, which provide an understanding of the background context for the events being described. It details three main phases of my life with Osho; the first, as a sannyasin in the early days of the Ashram in Pune; the second, in Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, USA.; the third, Pune from 1987 until January 19, 1990, when he left his physical body. This book will offer future generations with a detailed, hands-on, personalized view of those tumultuous, rapturous days.
Writing these books is a gift, and also a responsibility. Future readers will come to know Osho through these pages. I have trusted my own experience of Osho. His words, especially in the dental room are as I remember them. He trusted me to remember. In Chapter 14, I describe an “Akashic Transmission,” no other words fit what transpired: reading it you will understand. I had asked, at the time, if I should take notes while he spoke. He told me there was no need, that I would remember. I have remembered. In this book his words, as I remember them, are in italics.
I hope the errors in style due to my lack of literary skills are more than compensated by the unique vantage point I offer from having been in the lion’s mouth.
As the book's blurb says, this is a unique book. No book has ever been written like it. The normal "power" relationship between a dentist and hir patient is completely reversed, and Devageet is comfortable with that reversal (except when he's not) and is comfortable writing about it, with plenty of wondrous tales and embarrassing episodes recounted. More than once, Osho tells him, "I am in your dental chair but you are on my operating table". A few snippets:
When he was first brought in by Vivek to see Osho to talk about becoming his dentist, she impressed on him numerous times that this meeting with Osho must remain a secret. He writes:
- Her words were still echoing around my brain as the Lao Tzu gate guard slid the iron bolt to let me out. I was back in the ashram world.
- Vasumati, one of the ashram therapists, was passing. She looked at me, gasped, flushed red and then screamed, 'Devageet, you've just seen Osho!'
- I was shocked. My befuddled brain took valuable microseconds to overcome the blast of disbelief and alarm at her words. 'Shhhh!' I whispered in horror. 'Be quiet! It's a secret. Nobody must know. And ... How did you know?' I said in her ear.
- 'It's obvious. It's written all over your face.'
- Only later did I realize that sharing a secret with Vasumati had the same effect as putting it on national television.
When the Ranch dental sessions started, Osho instructed his doctor Amrito (then called Devaraj) to edit the notes that Devageet would be taking, and he told Ashu, Devageet's dental nurse, to "be a referree for Devageet and Devaraj". Geet writes:
- I was puzzled when I heard those words: Devaraj and I were friends. We had never quarrelled, let alone fought. It was only three years later, when we collaborated in editing and preparing the three books that finally resulted from the dental chairside notes, that I realized how complete Osho's vision had been. He had seen clearly, three years before it happened, how Devaraj and I would argue and squabble over the placing of each punctuation mark and paragraph. He had known, and he had chuckled.
Devageet shares deeply his experience of the master-disciple process. About Osho's daily belittling remarks and accusations to provoke him, he writes:
- I trusted, without clearly understanding, that his drip-drip torturous 'surgery' was exposing and peeling away unseen layers from my ego citadel fortifications. In principle I knew that this was the fundamental work of an enlightened Master on his disciple, but in practice I found the process excruciating. [...] My self-image as a pragmatic earthy person, not taken to bothering overmuch about unjust criticism, crumbled.
Truly harrowing are the occasions when Osho plays inconceivable kinds of hardball with him: starting to speak while the high-speed drill is whirring away, putting his tongue, gums and teeth at risk for Devageet's benefit. And near the end, not far from his time of leaving the body, he asks Devageet to remove many teeth, "unnecessarily" according to all "standard" dental wisdom, and so Devageet inevitably though painfully declines. With an "Are you my dentist or my disciple?", Osho masterfully puts Devageet's feet to the fire and holds them there, while calling in another dentist who is also reluctant but eventually complies while Devageet watches. Amazing! Osho makes it clear, as he has from the beginning: "Devageet, I will not stop until I crack your concrete skull".
- The name game, played with such evident gusto by Osho, illustrated not only his sense of humour, it is also an example of how he created outrageous devices to challenge his sannyasins' egos. Osho created a koan from the ancient question, "What's in a name?"