This year from 20th September to 1st October we were in Yuvramen to conduct an Osho meditation camp. During this journey, we also visited Kiev, which is considered the most beautiful capital of Europe, and Odessa, a historical, beautiful and touristic city located on the shores of the Black Sea. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe by area (603,700 square km) and the fifth largest country in Europe after Germany, Italy, Britain, and France in terms of population. In the 2001 census, its population was 48.4 million, which is estimated to have decreased to 46.4 million in 2005. This rate of decrease is about one percent annually. The population growth rate is also a matter of great surprise as the more prosperous the country is and the more people it can support, the population is decreasing. And the poorer the country is, there is an increase in the population and the standard of living goes down.
Ukraine is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are 4,000 small rivers flowing here, which merge into the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The black soil here is highly fertile, so it is called the “breadbasket” of Europe. The soil here is so fertile that during the Second World War, the Nazis took its fertile black soil to Germany by train. This blessing given by God has also become a curse for it. In the past centuries, this land became a victim of the invasion of Poles from the west, Lithuanians and Russians from the north and east, and Mongols from the east, and the entire land turned into a battlefield. In the 17th century, the revolt of the Kazakhs against the control of the Poles gave it about 100 years of independent existence, but later it was controlled by the Russian Empire. After the end of the Tsarist regime, it was independent from 1917 to 1920. Later it had to suffer the brutal rule of the Soviets. It is estimated that around 5 million people died in this country due to artificial starvation born in the name of collective farming under this regime. After experiencing the pain of that merciless regime, the survivors say, “At that time, without getting anything to eat, people ate human flesh.” Every particle of the soil of this country is irrigated with the blood shed by many soldiers in war. Despite such adverse conditions, it has maintained its own culture and identity and today it is finding its own way of progress and currently the annual growth rate has reached 9 percent. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it declared independence on August 24, 1991. Since then, Ukraine is becoming famous as an independent country among its neighbors and is preparing to become a member of the European Union.
A young TV actress came to participate in the Moscow training camp in June of this year, and after taking initiation at the camp, she became a Dhyan Shunyo from Alyona. Seeing the change in Shunyo’s behavior after her return and seeing her always happy, her TV show producer husband, Roman Mukha, was impressed and invited Yuvramen to conduct the training camp. Accordingly, a 5-day sadhana camp was held at a beautiful resort near Kiev and some satsangs and sermons were held in the capitals of Kiev and Odessa. Roman Mukha was also eventually initiated and became Swami Ananda Raman.
This is a strange country. In this country, the number of non-Christians is less than 1 percent, even if Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and others are added together. The other 99 percent are believers in different denominations of Christianity.
It was probably the first meditation camp conducted by someone from the East against such background. Even in such a situation, prayers were done in Sanskrit verses. Hundreds of people danced openly to the hymns of Krishna, Shiva and Osho and plunged into deep sensations in meditation. Although it is a very new philosophy, 50 people in Kiev and 9 in Odessa took initiation in Osho’s neo sannyas. This is a big number for Europe. In that camp, the neighboring European countries Czech Republic, England as well as Israel and various republics of the former Soviet Union came to the camp and happily invited us to hold a similar camp in their own country. In 1969, Osho asked, “What do you enjoy?” I said, “I have a great desire to wander.” Osho said, “Okay, you should be spiritually prepared.” He said, “I will take you around the whole world with my message, so much so that you will stop walking.” These words of the Guru are being experienced as coming from different countries as the invitations for the camp are coming continuously.
The journey from Kiev to Odessa was unforgettable. The distance from Kiev to Odessa is 500 km. No matter which country I go to, I want to see the village of that country because all the cities of the world are developing almost in the same way. The originality and culture of that country can be found in the village. I offered to go by car instead of plane. Even with a stop for Chiachmena in between, Raman drove us to Odessa in 4 hours at a speed of 140 km per hour in his new state-of-the-art car while the speed limit was written at 60 km per hour on the highway. When I reminded him about this, he said, “It’s not for us, it’s for the police.” How can tomorrow’s modern car drive on today’s wide road at the speed of yesterday’s turtle?” Here, this speed limit is written to collect the expenses of the highway police, whose salaries are the same as in the Soviet era. The highway police are measuring the speed of the car with a speed measuring laser gun. We were stopped because our car exceeded the posted speed limit. When the police asked for a license, he put 10 hryvnias (2 dollars) inside the license and kept that money in his pocket pretending that the license was gone, the police returned the license with thanks. When asked about this practice of keeping money inside the license, Raman said, “If you don’t pay, they will take 1 hour to write a report and call the court tomorrow.” The license can be returned only after going to the court and paying 15 dollars. This is the most transparency that has come after the advent of democracy. The rate of the loan is clearly specified. After paying a little money at the place, everyone has become easier and both parties are happy. Later, we found out that the name of the traffic post was “two dollar post”.
This facility is not available in Russia. You have to go down to each checkpoint and bargain like in Nepal, but if you know a police chief and get a call from him, you will get a big discount.
I wholeheartedly bowed to the goddess of corruption who is omnipresent, omnipotent and always happy wherever she is offered sacrifices.