domingo, 17 de mayo de 2009

Founder of Sannyasnews dies

Pari (left) in a 2002 Sannyasnews editorial meeting
The main founder of the Sannyasnews website, Swami Paritosh (Chris Gray), usually known as Pari, and who for writing purposes used the pseudonym “Sam”, died in the London Hampstead Marie Curie Hospice (Eden Hall) last Thursday morning (May 14th). He had put up a brave struggle with cancer over the last 12 months. He was 67.
Pari had been an anarchist in his early life, in a wild, sixties Notting Hill Gate, of which he still spoke with affection. During that time he translated a seminal anarchist work from the French, called “Leaving the 20th Century”. However at some point he found himself reading Ouspensky and it turned his life for ever. He found his way to Poona in the early days, after a long courtship of Buddhism and the vipassana technique. Osho made him lead the first (Sannyas) Vipassana groups in 1975, and there is an exchange with Osho recorded on page 375 to 377 of the darshan diary “Hammer on the Rock” about vipassana.
However after a short while he found the leadership role absurd, and left the mainstream ashram to live a street or so away, and, as he always seemed to do, in fastidiously clean and attractive apartments, even if sometimes they were squats. The typewriter was always at the ready, and books and paints to hand. When Poona one ended in 1981, he felt at the time neo-sannyas had ended, and returned to London and withdrew into family life, holding that sannyas had been overtaken by dictatorship, and lost its way.
His reaction to the end of Rajneeshpuram in 1975 was almost the opposite of what many did, he felt that somehow Osho had reasserted himself, and a lot of hopeless sheep had rushed out of the fold, and he was going back in. For him optimism arose, and he began to move in sannyas circles once more, and returned to Poona and to Osho. He was in Poona when Osho died.
Much of the material that relates to Poona one and to Poona two is tellingly recorded with a fine sense of movement in his book “Life of Osho” (by Sam) published in 1997. Of course it is from the perspective of someone who sometimes projected that the whole sannyas movement reflected his own, but of that world his writing is amongst the very best.
Pari did many things with his life, he returned for example to leading Osho meditations in the nineties in Swiss Cottage, London, and also in some famous back garden meditation events in Eton Avenue, of which I myself still have fond memories. He explored in an intense way the role of hallucinogens in psychotherapy and mystical life (written up in his recently published book “The Acid” ). He started, with Usha his beloved, the first satsang circle in London (inspired by the visit of Satyam Nadeen in 1999, who strongly encouraged this model of satsang). And he was an excellent and studied carpenter and gardener.
It is difficult to say what any man’s life means. Pari lived his life passionately, took his own self examination to the limits, and loved and lived well. He could be difficult, and cussed. He could sometimes sweetly confess to loneliness. But somehow he “made” his life, sometimes against the odds, and it marked him out.
We add the links below to some of his articles on Sannyasnews.com from the earlier days of the site.
Koregaon Park – The Wilder Shores
GokarnPoona 2001
Ayahuasca CeremonyOsho Bardo

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