Interview with Veeresh by Chandrika
In one of his songs Veeresh says:
When love goes into action,
Life becomes amazing,
Start to radiate
And the world
Becomes a Paradise.
(from the Album: Love in Action)
What is poetry to you? When does life have a poetic quality?
When I think of a poetic quality, I’m reminded of early Pune, hearing the blissed out Indians telling me that listening to Osho in Hindi was absolutely poetic. His choice of words created such elegance and harmony that people would get lost in his expression. He was creating beauty on earth just through his way of being, his special quality of defining his world.
Osho was, for me, a perfect example of poetry in motion, poetry in expression, poetry in being. I remember being in a darshan when a sannyasin asked him: ‘What is the best way of behaving?’ What a simple question! In essence, Osho said, make every action you do as beautiful as possible. That’s it! This is poetry in motion. It sounds so simple. Instead of unconsciously doing something, do it with awareness, do it with consciousness or … love. So poetry for me was watching him express his love through his actions, through his way of being.
I think Man creates poetry as an attempt to bring more peace and beauty on earth.
There are situations when everything is running smooth: Getting up in the morning with a smile on your face, coffee is tasting great, … and there are days when things are rocky: milk falls out of your hand and you have to clean the whole kitchen, your car crashes … What can one do to bring life back into a flow again – into its poetic rhythm?
If you operate from a position of love, you can even accept the coffee tasting terrible and not let it be a problem.
Another example is a street fighter that has only the goal of efficiently wiping out his opponents. If you look at a Tai Chi master, he can accomplish the same task but he does it with such a beautiful dance. If you have the attitude that the purpose of your life is to bring beauty and creativity on this earth, then you are not just trying to accomplish a goal in an unconscious way for efficiency, but you do it with all your love and awareness.
How can life become more poetic?
When you are operating from your heart, every act you do becomes a poetic movement. When Bodhidharma visited the emperor of China and was asked questions about Zen, he was not caught up with intellectual answers. He figured the best way was to take off his shoe and put it on his head. He hoped that the emperor would say ‘Oh, I get it, it is not about knowledge, it is about being and enjoying the moment.’ The emperor did not understand. Bodhidharma left again and from then on tried in the most beautiful way possible to communicate this answer. He was coming from a position of the heart.
What stands in the way of life becoming a poetic expression of existence?
You, deciding that life is a problem, rather than an accumulation of facts. Instead of reacting to life, you can respond and say, ‘How can I make the best of this situation for myself and the other?’ If we are all ambassadors of God, then there are no problems. They are facts presented to us; we live with them, arrange them and make the best out of all given situations. We don’t let them get in our way.
I am presented everyday with new opportunities to create something beautiful in my life. If somebody in our community is ‘acting out’, I can say it is a problem or I can use this as a learning for everyone including myself. I try to support the staff by telling them to be patient with the people they work with. If you look at life as a problem, then it becomes a problem, but if you look at it as a stepping stone to create something new, then life becomes exciting.
Many artists and poets have lived at the brink of death. They were often destructive towards themselves and the lives of their close relations, taking drugs, alcohol, etc. How did they create often very beautiful and radiant poetry? What role does death play in this?
The lotus grows out from the mud until it flowers. The famous Dutch artist, Van Gogh, had such a miserable life. If he did not have so much pain, I don’t think he could have created what he did; drinking absinth, a hallucinogenic, seemed to have helped him to create his vision of life. I think the greatest poets always suffered, deep down, from despair and frustration – from a background of struggle. I see that in myself too. If I hadn’t been into 14 years of heavy drugs, I would not be able to appreciate the positive side of life. I understand now that it is not about getting stoned and trying to block out my pain.
Most poets have that. Van Gogh cut off his ear, because he was in such pain. Out of this pain, this foundation, he found the beauty – a balance. I get touched when I feel those people. I can see that it derives from a life experience of many traumas that allows them to express themselves in such beautiful ways later on. I am sure people can create poetry without having heavy trauma in their lives, but I can identify with the ones that do – they really touch me;
Khalil Gibran is one of my most favorite poets. The way he uses words and expressions, I just feel him. I can enter his heart and see how he puts things together. He can appreciate the brighter side of life. In his book The Prophet, people are asking the prophet many questions like ‘What is love?’ etc. I was always so moved how beautifully and simply the prophet expresses himself. I can identify with him. I can read it over and over. He just blows my mind. It is universal. That is what I get from Osho too.
Would you like to say anything else about poetry or how to live poetically?
Yes. I have been able to build this commune at the OSHO Humaniversity. I create harmony so that wherever you look, there is poetry in motion. I like walking and looking around and seeing the beauty of a flower, or a painting in a special way. I try to bring an elegance of beauty so that when anybody comes in our commune, they can say, ‘WOW! – it’s really well done.’ It is an expression of my heart.
I am a poet in a sense that I create beauty in my environment. I bring out the beauty in my staff, so that they can express themselves, and pass that on to the people we work with. Poetry is an expression of love, bringing beauty to this earth.
When you make music, you write the lyrics yourself, and you rap in rhyme?
Yes, my music is poetic. Knowing the negative side of life, helps me to see what beauty is. I listen to some music today and I wonder to myself. ‘What are they trying to get across to the world?’ The lyrics are ugly and horrible. It is easy to sing ‘Yo motherfucker, motherfucker, motherfucker! …’ This is what the kids are getting brainwashed with. I try to bring some positive expression of love to our music. I love hearing beautiful lyrics, they turn me on. Humaniversity Sound is an attempt to bring some joy to the world. I am very conscious to make uplifting lyrics.
I try to mould the words into the rhythm, so that altogether, it becomes a flow. It goes directly into your heart rather than into your brain. I like it when people walk away humming a beautiful tune. When music touches you, you can listen to it over and over. I am very conscious to create words of beauty that express a longing in your heart, so that you can say, ‘That sounds great, that feels good.’ That is what poetry is, it helps you to feel good, it is an expression of the love in your heart. Poets are necessary to create a little balance on this earth.
I go back to Osho, and his concern about making people conscious. His solution for peace on earth is that everyone has to look inside. Peace begins in everybody’s heart. I see him as a great role model.
He said the solution is meditation; at first, I thought that this is too simple. Today, I understand the answer: When people look inside and meditate, then the answer comes from the heart, not from the outside. Look inside, look into your heart – what do you want, what do you want for this earth, for your children, for the world?
The answer is obvious, you want good things, you want love, you want beauty.
So Osho is the greatest poet for me.