Letter from New Delhi
Celebration is Osho’s religion. This non-stop Osho celebration goes on all the time, every day, right through the year. So how do you celebrate much more when you celebrate major festivals? What is special celebration for these festivals and for Osho’s birthday? How can the normal celebration be boosted on these special events?
A whole string of festivals has started this month leading up to Diwali. So how do you add the extra fizz, pump the additional zest and create more zing? You can do it externally by living it up, laughing, hugging, singing, dancing and gifting. Or, you can do it internally by meditating on your inward journey. Here you will experience stillness, silence, peace, freedom, and at the most, a faint smile of bliss.
This is what Osho says when he exhorts you to become a light unto yourself. When Gautam Buddha said, ‘appa deepo bhava’ or be a light unto yourself – he was trying to take all the slavery, spiritual and religious, from humanity. When you go inside, it does not matter whether you are rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick, you have connected to your real being, your consciousness, and you are alone, not lonely.
More importantly, you are not depending on any one else – no guru or god.
Osho says, “No saviour has been of any help; all their promises have proved false. That’s what Gautam Buddha is saying — be a light unto yourself. Don’t throw the responsibility on anybody else. Take the responsibility, because it is by taking the responsibility on yourself that you become mature. Otherwise you will always remain retarded, childish.”
So when you have celebrated to the hilt with hugging, gifting, feasting, singing and dancing, there comes a time when you are exhausted. At this moment, everything falls silent as you go deep inwards. Now the real celebration begins. This is a totally different level altogether. You are on your own. Alone. You are beyond the invisible and powerful bars that imprison you. Ah, free at last! Now you move towards your own light and as you float in this inner space, this light becomes more luminous and surrounds you. Ah, this is the real illumination, the real festival of lights!
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Inhuman Corporate Bonus: Women Workers Egged to Freeze Their Eggs
You would think women in the tech industry, with its wide gender gap and considerable pay gap, would be sceptical of businesses being perfect meritocracies. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently suggested he thinks otherwise. Addressing a group of mostly women at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Nadella said, “It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.”
He went on, “That’s good karma. It will come back,” Nadella added. “That’s the kind of person that I want to trust, that I want to give more responsibility to.” The idea, apparently, didn’t go over so well with some members of the audience.
It took just hours for Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella to apologise and withdraw the advice he offered publicly on stage at a conference that discouraged female employees from asking for raises. The remark, he admitted in a companywide e-mail, was “completely wrong.”
The corporate aim is to enable women to focus on their careers now and have babies later. Give the best years of their lives to the company and then produce babies after the age of 40 plus…how considerate!
A typical round of egg freezing costs about $10,000, with $500 or more in fees each year for storage. Two rounds are usually necessary to harvest about 20 eggs, which are considered ideal. The idea behind “fertility preservation” is that by removing and fertilising their eggs in their 20s, women will have a better chance of becoming pregnant in their 30s and 40s. Fertility often declines in women’s 30s.
As if this was not enough, a few days later, Apple and Facebook offered to freeze eggs for female employees to attract more women on to their 90,000 strong staff. “Apple cares deeply about our employees and their families, and we are always looking at new ways our health programmes can meet their needs,” said the company.
Facebook offered up to $20,000 for egg freezing for female employees. The company also offers adoption and surrogacy assistance and “a host of other fertility services for male and female employees”, the company said. Facebook went one better to offer them cash and benefits to adopt a child or rent a womb instead of producing one after nine months in pregnancy.
Are these hi-tech companies serious? Can these huge corporations force their women workers into something that doesn’t fit their values or personal choices just because they want them to go on working for them? Have they improved upon George Orwell’s 1984 nightmarish novel? Are the women workers being seduced with cash benefits to freeze their eggs to go on working for these companies to maximize their billions in profits?
Women are livid at these announcements, not only in the west but also in India. In an op-ed article in The Economic Times of 21 October 2014, headlined ‘What next? Divorce Fees?’ Rajshree Sen writes, “Why is it that companies don’t realize that instead of helping shatter the glass ceiling, these decidedly sexist initiatives are pulling an impenetrable hymen sheath over the corporate endeavors of women?”
As usual, Osho is far more revolutionary in his views about sexual suppression of women. Answering a question in The Dhammapada, The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 9, he talks openly about female circumcision that removes the clitoris of young girls in Africa and even in some Arab countries. This painful operation results in a woman never experiencing an orgasm. Only Osho can talk with confidence since he realises that sex is the most powerful energy for human beings and sweeping it under the carpet will not solve anything. These corporate offers also impinge on the sex life of their women employees by persuading them to delay childbirth or adopt babies so that they can work during their prime for corporate mega profits. Absolutely inhuman!
Kul Bhushan worked as a newspaper Editor in Nairobi for over three decades and now lives in New Delhi
* Published in print edition on 24 Ocotober 2014