Osho on Jazz
From the first few excerpts it seems as if Osho isn't
particularly keen on Jazz. But, in the last excerpt, Osho says something to the effect that "if
my people want to become enlightened with jazz what to do?" It
sounds like Jazz is indeed a handicap, but that, believe it or not,
the possibility of enlightenment is still there ...
Indian music particularly needs tremendous effort: eight
to ten hours' practice every day, a lifelong discipline; only then
can you create those subtle nuances. It is not jazz; that, any idiot
(Osho - From Bondage to Freedom #18)
Put the child on the belly, because he knows only one
contact, only one warmth, and that is his mother's body. He is
acquainted only with his mother's body, so let him rest. After a
good bath, let him rest on his mother's belly. You can play the
guitar. You can sing a beautiful song - nothing like jazz!...
something soft, something more Eastern and more classical, which is
soothing and which will make the child comfortable in his new world.
(Osho - From Bondage to Freedom #28)
Look at modern music: it is simply insanity, it is not
music. Just making noise is not music. It may help you to have some
catharsis - that's what music like jazz does, it is cathartic. You
feel afterwards a kind of well-being, relaxed; but it is not music.
(Osho - From Bondage to Freedom #39)
To understand classical music is possible only if you
learn - and it is a long learning. It is not like jazz music, for
which no learning is needed. Even monkeys can understand jazz - in
fact, only monkeys understand it. It is not music, just a few
crackpots making all kinds of noises, and you think it is music.
(Osho - From Death to Deathlessness #22)
We have heard your comments about Jazz music.
Beloved Master, this question comes from two Jazz musicians: is our
love of Jazz music an obstacle on the path to enlightenment?
Satyam and Dhyanesh, my comments about jazz music were made in a
totally different context. Compared to classical music, jazz music
is in the lowest category, because rather than creating a
spirituality in you it simply activates your sexuality. The great
classical music takes you higher, beyond your mind, to silences
which can give you a taste of meditation, a taste of existence.
But always remember that a certain reference in a certain context
does not mean my whole approach to a thing. You are saying, "This
question comes from two jazz musicians. Is our love of jazz music an
obstacle on the path to enlightenment?" It depends on you. You can
make your jazz music free from the lower gravitation of sexuality.
You can make it connected with your higher centers of being, and
then it will not be an obstacle on the path to enlightenment.
In fact, as far as my people are concerned, they are going to enter
enlightenment with jazz music! It has never been tried; hence it is
a great challenge and must be tried.
Nothing is wrong in the world if it is used in the right direction -
with awareness, with clarity. You can purify anything, just as you
can make anything impure. It is wholly a question of your clear
understanding. If your meditation goes on growing side by side with
your music, soon you will find that even jazz music starts having
some quality of meditativeness. And if the distinction between music
and meditation drops, then whatever classical music was able to do,
you can also do it. And you can do it more rejoicingly, more
dancingly, with a greater celebration.
So I don't say that there is any obstacle, but meditation must
become part of your music; otherwise just your music cannot help you
to go beyond the lower instincts, biological drives. It will keep
you closer to the earth, but far away from the stars.
Pope the Polack and Ronald Reagan meet in the middle of the
Sahara desert. The pope is carrying a telephone booth, while Ronald
Reagan has a car engine strapped to his back.
"What are you doing with that telephone booth?" asks Reagan.
"You see," says Pope the Polack, "if a lion comes along, I put it
down, go inside and lock the door. But why are you carrying a car
engine with you?"
"Well," replies Reagan, "for just the same reason. When a lion comes
I drop the engine and then I can run faster."
Hymie Goldberg is trying to hold a small mirror in his hand while
he adjusts his tie. The mirror slips and shatters on the ground.
"Oh, no!" he complains to Becky. "Now I am going to have seven
years' bad luck."
"Nonsense," replies Becky. "My uncle Sollie once broke a mirror, and
he didn't have seven years' bad luck."
"Really?" says Hymie, encouraged.
"Really," repeats Becky. "He died the same day."
It all depends how you understand things...
Miss Goodbody, the teacher, is too shy to conduct the sex
education class in school, so she asks her class to make this a
Little Ernie asks his father, who tells him some story about a
stork. Grandma says that she was found under a gooseberry bush.
Great-grandma blushes deep red and whispers that children come from
The next day, little Ernie gets called to report on his homework.
"Well," says Ernie, "I am afraid my family has been a little
abnormal. Apparently there has been no sex at all for three
Paddy Murphy is on his way home, when he comes across a woman
"What is the matter, lady?" he asks.
"MacTavish is dead!" she sobs. "MacTavish is dead!"
A few minutes later he comes across another woman sobbing,
"MacTavish is dead! MacTavish is dead!"
Soon he finds another woman crying the same thing, and then as he
approaches the railway crossing he sees a ghastly sight.
A train has run over a man and cut him in pieces. And there on the
street next to the body is lying his foot-and-a-half long prick.
Several women are standing around crying, "MacTavish is dead!
MacTavish is dead!"
When Paddy arrives home, he says to Maureen, "I just saw a terrible
thing. A train ran over a guy and cut off his pecker. And would you
believe it? His prick was eighteen inches long!"
"My God!" cries Maureen. "MacTavish is dead!"
Yes, Beloved Master.
(Osho - Hari Om tat Sat #9)
- This last excerpt from the Hari Om tat Sat lecture series was
held between Jan 17 1988 to Feb 25 1988. It was the time of a
no-name phase when sannyasins addressed their master as "Beloved
Master". Read more on the different name changes Osho went through
- A sannyasin comments, "We once asked
what kind of Jazz music Osho had listened to. She said that his
understanding of Jazz was music like ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin (I
remember him driving his Rolls on the ranch one day; as he came
by with the window down, there was the sound of ZZ Top blasting
at full volume). I don't think Osho had ever listened to 'real'
Jazz. Certainly he would have loved Jan Garberek, might have
even enjoyed Miles Davis... :)
When I travelled in south india, I often went past temples where
the music sounded a lot like Jazz music. Once you move South of
the North Indian 'Raga' belt and into more free form Tamil and
Karnatak music, there is a strong resemblance to Jazz."
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