My family visited Rajnesshpurem, a converted farm in Wasco County that housed the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (aka Osho) and his followers, sometime after the exile of the Indian guru.

The grounds and main building were either in a state of disrepair or, more likely, poorly constructed in the first place. I remember walking across the uneven floor of the main building to look at various items that were on display in a giant sort of going out of business sale.

There wasn’t much of value or interest left–boxes of condoms mainly (I kid you not)–but I did pick up (for $1 as I recall) The Shadow of the Whip, something of a diary from the Bhagwan’s time at a commune in India in the mid-70s.

My favorite bit was the opening parable from which the book got its title:

A seeker said to Buddha:
‘I do not ask for words; I do not ask for silence.’
Buddha just sat quietly.

The seeker said admiringly:
‘The compassion of the World-Honoured One
has opened the clouds of my illusion
and has enabled me to enter on the Path.’
Making his salutations, he departed.

Ananda then asked Buddha:
‘What was it this stranger realized
that he so praised you?’

The World-Honoured One replied:
‘A high class horse moves even at
the shadow of the whip.’

You’ll have to trust me when I say that the rest of the book isn’t even remotely as interesting, and I think the main reason I’ve held onto the book all these years is simply that I enjoyed the above parable. That’s a pretty lousy reason to clutter the shelves of one’s life, but a pretty good reason to post the same to a weblog and get the book out to Goodwill.

Update: Oops! Well, what do you know? A quick book search reveals that it’s a First Edition, printed in India, one of only 5000. Used worth $20-$30. Now, uh, for sale if anyone’s interested. =)