(images still to come)
"Satsang", and "darshan" are terms widely used in the Indian spiritual tradition(s) and their Western spinoffs to refer to various forms of "meeting with the master". Osho's form of "darshan" has been described on the page dedicated to that. Here we consider "satsang".
"Satsang" literally means fellowship with truth and usually refers to semi-public gatherings spent either listening to the master talking or sitting in silence with the master. In Osho's sannyas, the first usage was never called that but simply "discourse". Rarely, there was a hybrid entity referred to as "silent discourse", usually an occasion where a speaking discourse was normally to happen but didn't and was replaced by silent sitting. No other activities would take place during such events.
the first satsangs
When Osho went into silence in Mar 1981, that effectively cancelled discourse and temporarily darshan as well, though the function of initiating new disciples picked up again soon with two sannyasins replacing Osho in that role (and under his guidance). But discourse? Something had to happen.
So on May 1 1981, Satsang was launched. In it, Osho would come to Buddha Hall to sit in silence with his people, with alternating periods of music, readings from various books, Gachchhamis led by Taru and silence. These Satsangs would run from a little over an hour to about an hour and twenty minutes. Osho's physical presence was the center of it, with the rest offering different flavours of silent participation.
The wiki has audio from all the Pune One satsangs attended by Osho. They can be found at Category:Celebration Satsang. Except for the first one, all have readings from various books. A typical satsang would run like 1981-05-10 Satsang ~ The Prophet, No 6, with first a short announcement (on what book would be recited from that day), then, improvised instrumental music, Gachchhamis, music, a reading from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet with "silent commentary" by Osho, music, reading, music, reading, music, Gachchhamis and music, all interspersed with periods of silence. Other books from which recitations were given were Isa Upanishad, Mabel Collins' Light on the Path and four other of Kahlil Gibran's books, The Madman, The Wanderer, The Forerunner and Jesus the Son of Man.
He pulled the rug out from under this setup on Jun 1 by leaving for the States, first staying in New Jersey then proceeding to the Ranch at the end of Aug 1981. Four of the musicians who had been providing the satsang music in Pune also went to New Jersey and were involved in several "spontaneous satsangs" there, of which a partial video record exists.
Back in Pune, daily satsangs continued at least until Jul 13 but eventually ran out of steam as sannyasins abandoned Pune. The wiki has audio records of many of them; they are stripped down format-wise, having only instrumental music, Gachchhamis, still led by Taru, and silence.
Satsangs at the Ranch eventually settled into a pattern, a basic structure, but took a while to arrive there. The pattern was this, with some evolution, tweaking and exceptions: They happened only for the four annual Celebrations that had come to be held around Osho. These were Guru Purnima, held on the July Full Moon, Mahaparinirvana Day on Sep 8, his birthday on Dec 11 and Enlightenment Day on Mar 21.
What ended up being called Satsangs were held in the mornings, with instrumental music, Gachchhamis, humming, readings from various of Osho's books and periods of silence, not hugely different from the late-Pune-One Satsangs.
For the evenings, a new hybrid form was created, the new form of Darshan in fact, which had some elements of Satsang -- instrumental music, Gachchhamis, some humming and periods of silence -- but the main feature was lots of devotional songs, more like a Pune One Music Group. Darshan would only happen for one night, even in the summer Celebrations, which soon became multi-day affairs with many Satsangs. The details of how these events evolved follow below ....
At the Ranch, the main event was work, not celebration; there was the new commune to be built -- from scratch! -- plus greening the desert, farming and all that entailed ... Drive-by provided a daily opportunity to be close to Osho for a second or two as he slowly drove by on his tour de Ranch to greet disciples and friends who lined the sides of the roads. And with eye contact! Still, something more was needed, where one could sit for a longer time in his presence, hopefully with music. A daily musical event was out of the question, but what could be arranged? ....
The natural place for this need to settle was the four regular Celebrations already happening around Osho. The first of these to come along was in mid-Jul, while Osho was still in New Jersey. There IS an audio record of this event. There was no reading, nor is it known if Osho was physically present at this celebration.
The next celebration event came on Sep 8, shortly after Osho had arrived at the Ranch. The audio of this event is said to be missing but there IS a video showing Osho coming down to the lawn near his house, seated in a chair and leaving; sannyasins are seated and dancing while the musicians do their thing. There is no reading. As there is only the one event for the day, it could have been at any time, even afternoon, which is actually a reasonable possibility given the description of the video.
Next up, Osho's Birthday Celebration, on Dec 11. It is his Golden Birthday, and the Ranch has begun to get populated; the wiki has an audio record of this event, and a video was also made. But satsang is still wandering in the desert (of central Oregon) looking for a format. For this occasion, it is likely in the evening, there are no Gachchhamis and the music is Pune One Music Group-style songs, not instrumentals. There are no readings but still silences, plus a period of humming. The wiki has it as a pm event, though the source for that info is not clear; it is suggested by the video images, but not conclusively.
On the next occasion, Osho's Enlightenment Day on Mar 21 1982, there are two celebration events, 1982-03-21.am Enlightenment Day Satsang in the morning and 1982-03-21.pm Enlightenment Day Darshan in the evening. (Both are called "satsang" in the wiki timeline event classifying system, such as it is, but this is a small matter, as usage there is a far broader term.)
Here we begin to discern the different event types. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to get our digital hands on the supposed audio record of the morning event, so we cannot know, but as Anubhava's name appears in the artists credit for the evening and not the morning, it appears that the morning event was likely instrumental music only, with or without readings or humming, but no devotional songs. Songs are featured more than anything else in the evening event, along with some instrumental music and humming.
With the next Celebration, the format finally appeared to be settling into something regular. This was the First Annual World Celebration, with six events over five days from Jul 3-7, 1982. The wiki's complete audio collection shows that the five morning events are all called Satsangs and all have instrumental music, Gachchhamis, periods of silence and readings, now from Osho's books, various volumes of Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega.
The evening event, like that of Enlightenment Day and of Osho's Birthday celebration before it, features mainly songs, with some humming and Gachchhamis. And it is called a Darshan, held on the evening of the 6th, with the name of that day getting Americanized to "Master's Day".
The format hasn't quite settled yet though. For the next celebration, Mahaparinirvana Day, Sep 8, we have again two presumed events but only one audio record, that for the evening. It is called a Darshan and has almost all songs, with a few instrumentals and no mention of humming, reading or Gachchhamis. We have a page for the audio of the morning event, called a Satsang but the audio itself is missing; its info-details include the usual musicians and no singers but it may be all presumptive.
Next!: Osho's Birthday, 1982. Yet again, two presumed events but only one audio record. For a twist we can add that the am and pm for these events are also presumed. Our one audio has songs with some humming and instrumentals and IS called a Darshan and we are presuming it was evening, while the presumed other was in the morning, with its usual presumed line-up.
With Enlightenment Day, Mar 21 1983, again this pattern. The pm Darshan is the only audio record of the day. It has songs, plus some humming and Gachchhamis, with a new flavour addition, the songs including an Indian-style Kirtan song led by Taru.
Then finally another Annual World Celebration, the Second. Again, it was held with the climax blowout Darshan on Jul 6, "Master's Day". (That this was NOT on a full moon was a break with tradition detailed in Talk:1982-07-06.pm Master's Day Darshan.) This year's Annual had two more days, running from Jul 2-8. The morning Satsangs all had instrumentals, humming, Gachchhamis and readings, from Nirvana: The Last Nightmare. An interesting new feature is a "vocals" credit given to Ma Anand Suresha, undoubtedly without words, just using the voice as an instrument. The Darshan on the evening of the 6th had songs, plus humming and Gachchhamis, this time without a Kirtan song.
Next Mahaparinirvana Day, on Sep 8 had two events, this time with audio for both. The morning was a Satsang with instrumentals, humming, Gachchhamis and two readings, from Nirvana: The Last Nightmare. And the Darshan, in the evening, had a short instrumental (with "vocals"), humming, Gachchhamis and lots of songs.
The following Birthday Celebration is very similar, except the morning Satsang lacks humming, and its reading is from Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega. Enlightenment Day '84 is the same, with its Darshan having a couple more instrumentals and fewer songs.
Brings us round to summer again. For the Third Annual, there are again eight celebration events, this time with seven morning Satsangs preceding the final Darshan on Jul 6 evening. The formats for both are unchanged, with Yoga the source for the readings.
The 1984 edition of Mahaparinirvana Day, on Sep 8, had the now-familiar format, with readings from The Search during the morning Satsang. For the Darshan, the format was evolving, and featured many more "instrumentals and vocals" (la-la-la's) and fewer songs, along with the usual humming and Gachchhamis.
Perhaps something was in the air. Osho would soon come out of silence, start giving discourses again, which would have a dramatic effect on the dynamics of the Ranch ...
Osho's Birthday Celebration had some small modifications as well. Darshan went in the other direction from Mahaparinirvana's putative trend, getting fully back into songs, with one round only of Gachchhamis plus humming and no instrumentals at all. Satsang got "purist" in its own way, eliminating the non-verbal vocals which had come to be almost normal. Readings were from The First Principle.
With Enlightenment Day 1985, Satsang was similar but shorter than usual, and having only one reading, again from The First Principle. Darshan was also similar but shorter, and this time with no humming.
Osho's return to speaking has a huge impact on the summer festival, the Fourth Annual World Celebration. Dates are the same as the previous year but the brochure for this Celebration reveals a very different format. The first six days do feature Osho in a morning event, but that event is a discourse, resuming actually a series from which he had been absent for almost three months.
Only on Jul 6, Master's Day, are there the musical events that have been the staple of earlier Celebrations, one Satsang with readings from The Sun Rises in the Evening and one Darshan, to cap off the festivities. From Jun 30 to Jul 5, the brochure gives the schedule of daily special activities as:
- 10:00 - 11:00 am Sannyas Initiation
- 11:00 - 12:00 am Rajneesh* Dynamic Meditation
- 2:00 pm greeting Bhagwan by the roadside
- 4:30 - 5:30 pm Rajneesh Nadabrahma Meditation
- 6:00 - 7:00 pm Rajneesh Kundalini Meditation
- 7:30 - 8:30 pm Music Group July 22 and July 4 only
- Video and audio tapes of Bhagwan's discourses and previous Celebrations will be shown at Rajneesh International Meditation University throughout the day
- [for Master's Day, Jul 6, Satsang and Darshan are scheduled for 8:30 - 9:30 am and 7:30 - 8:30 pm respectively]
- * [a note at the bottom:] Rajneesh is a registered trademark of Rajneesh Foundation International
There is no Celebration of any particular kind on this year's Sep 8. On Sep 15, Sheela left the Ranch, and the spiral of events which led to Osho's getting arrested and poisoned and the Ranch falling apart began. Thus endeth Satsang.