I feel fortunate to have taken birth in a small village called Gadarwara, near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh in 1962, the same village where my master Osho spent many years of his early life. My father, Swami Sukhraj Bharti, is Osho’s childhood friend and classmate. So I happen to know Osho ever since I became aware of my existence.
My father being a supplier of gravel for Indian Railways used to do a lot of mining so we lived in a wood house in a jungle close to Narmada River and about 50 kms away from Gadarwara, a place called Satyadhara. There were no neighbors except for the employees of my father, no electricity, no TV and just a small transistor that used to work only once in a while.
Most of my time was spent in and around the Narmada River which became my best friend. I would swim or sit next to the river watching the sunrise, sunset, moon and stars or listening to the birds, the wind in the trees and the sound of running water. It seems the seeds of the following haiku were sown somewhere around this time:
“Sitting silently, doing nothing,
The spring comes – and the grass grows by itself.“
I would like to share an incident from the year 1970, Osho had come to stay with us at Satyadhara and at the breakfast time he asked my father about his work and told him that the work he is involved in is not of a genius but very average, to which my father replied that he will wind up everything soon. My mother knew that just the day before he had signed up a big contract and it was not possible to wind up. Osho just smiled hearing the reply and continued with his breakfast.
The same year there was a flood in Narmada River like no one had ever seen before. Overnight my father lost everything he had; all the equipment, tools, the trucks and jeeps, everything was gone. Next morning my father asked all of us, “Now that we have lost everything we had, do you want to take it in ‘Sukha‘ or ‘Dukha‘?”, to which my mother replied that although everything was gone we would still like to take it in ‘Sukha‘ and went on to make ‘Puri & Halwa‘ which we all enjoyed. The most amazing thing to note was that when the flood came, the river came up to the place where Osho had slept and then started to recede. It was as if Narmada wanted to touch Osho’s feet.
I used to practice Osho’s meditation techniques as a child and was initiated in sannyas by Osho in 1972. All the other kids and family members used to call me ‘Babaji‘ as I was spending most of my free time in meditation unlike the other children of my age.
In 1979, after finishing my exams for the 11th standard, I asked Osho that I want to stay in the commune in Pune (then known as Poona) to be close to HIM. He agreed and allowed me to live and work there. Working in the commune is quite an experience. It is here I learned how work can become worship. I lived in the commune (in Pune) till 1981 and then moved on to the new commune (Rajneeshpuram) in America and lived there till 1985 in Osho’s presence.
It is in Rajneeshpuram (also known as the Ranch) I experienced ‘Karma Yoga‘ for the first time (as we worked for very long hours and with total awareness). A lot of my conditioning was dropped while working in the commune. Since I belong to Jaina family, we wouldn’t eat garlic, onions or tomatoes at home and here in Rajneeshpuram I was working in the poultry farm collecting eggs. Soon, it became a play for me. Also for sometime it was my job to supply apples, tea and coffee to about four hundred houses at the Rajneeshpuram. Working alone it was easy to do everything with awareness. The work became meditation.
After Osho left the USA, he came to Manali, a beautiful hill station in north of India. It was a small group of people around him and I got an opportunity to work for him personally. Small things like cleaning his room, his bathroom, chopping vegetables for him was such nourishment. It is a pure blessing, being able to do little things for your master; nothing comes close to this feeling. You receive so much from your master that it is a totally overwhelming experience and then to have an opportunity to do something for the master is a rare blessing, one is showered with so much more that can’t be described in words.
Soon Osho left for the world tour to come back to India only in 1986 to move on to His Pune commune in the January of 1987 where he left His body on the 19th January, 1990. Having lived in His commune working and meditating in His physical presence day in day out, with Osho leaving His body it felt like there was no reason for me to stay alive any more; for what and why? And then I was reminded of his saying:
“When I am gone, where can I go? I will be here in the winds, in the ocean; and if you have loved me, if you have trusted me, you will feel me in a thousand and one ways. In your silent moments you will suddenly feel my presence.”
I continued to live in the commune till 1997. Many beautiful things happened, so many experiences… one that I am remembring now was being with Osho’s mother at the time of her death. Though she insisted on doing everything herself till her last day in the body, I used to take care of her little needs as I was very close to her. For the first time in my life I saw someone leaving the body full of consciousness, peace and bliss. ‘Mataji‘ as we all lovingly called her, always treated her body as a temple and before going to bed in the night she would pray, “Raat ko araam se sona, subah swasth uthna, tumhara dhanyavad!” or before sitting for meditation she would say to her body, “Tune jo khana maanga maine diya, tune jo kapda maanga maine pehnaya, tere mun ka sab kuchh kiya, ab main dhyan mein ek ghanta baithungi aur tu mera saath dena!”
When we took her to the hospital for the first day seeing she is not doing well, there was no sensation in her right hand and by the evening she started vomiting blood. I panicked and asked Swami Yoga Amit (Osho’s youngest brother) to call for a doctor immediately. Mataji called me closer and said laughingly, “Why are you worrying? I have eaten so many ‘Paan‘ in the past and now they are coming out.” By the next morning her right arm was totally paralyzed and Amit and I helped her eat her breakfast and lunch but she insisted on trying on her own and by the dinner she was absolutely comfortable eating with her left hand. It seemed like whatever was happening to her body didn’t affect her at all, as if the body was just an instrument she used.
Most of the family members had also arrived hearing about her sickness and it was decided that ‘Angiography‘ be done. Mataji insisted against taking any anesthetic drugs. Before going for the test she said to her body, “Sab kuchh achhey sey karvana, kisi ko takleef mut dena, main tumhein ras malai khilaaungi“, looked at me asked me to get the ‘Ras Malai‘ and to everyone’s surprise she didn’t take any anesthesia and the tests were done in her full consciousness while she remained at peace.
Eventually she was discharged from the hospital at her request. On her last night (a full moon night), she was listening to Osho’s discourses and around midnight asked to put her on the floor and everyone present to play and join in the ‘Bhajan‘ and ‘Kirtan‘. We all knew in our hearts that she was leaving the body soon. Swami Niklank Bharti (Osho’s brother) held her back against his chest, Swami Yoga Amit, Swami Akhil Saraswati sitting next to her while many other family members and friends sat around her in meditation and singing Bhajans. At around 4.00 am she left the body in such peace that is indescribable. All those present at the time felt immense showering of blessings from her and the whole existence.
Everything was fine for a few years after Osho left his body but soon I realized that I was not moving on my inner journey and was stuck somewhere in spite of meditating everyday and didn’t know what to do about it, though I had complete trust that my master Osho won’t just leave me stuck and surely I will find the way.
After going through Intense experiences of meditation and ‘Samadhi‘, when I started reading Osho’s books again, I felt, I had a new understanding and as if it was the first time I was reading his books or listening to his discourses as they had an entirely new meaning for me.
I realized the meanings of Osho’s words like “Go Within” or “Bring your Buddha nature with you when you come back.” I didn’t understand what it meant at the time, only the deep experiences of Samadhi taught me what he meant by ‘going within‘. Also that Osho’s experiments of Let-Go after every discourse, were to give us a glimpse of samadhi. And how he used seemingly ordinary technique of music, then silence, music then silence during the white robe brotherhood, practiced even today at the Osho International, to give us a taste of what ‘Real Silence‘ is. Only when one experience samadhi does one find out what he was trying to share with us through such a simple yet a very potent device.
This feeling of finding deeper meanings in what Osho says continues with each passing day. After experiencing and being one with the divine, I go on finding treasures upon treasures. It is like I have arrived home and yet the journey has just begun into new dimensions:
“Utter Silence, Utter Stillness, Utter Emptiness,
No Thoughts – No Emotions, No Past – No Future,
Drowning in Existence, The Existence Blossoming within,
Such Grace, Such Beauty, Such Melody,
Yes – I Am That, Yes – I Am The Blessed One, I Have Arrived Home!“
The inner journey is a non ending process but that doesn’t mean it is difficult. In fact it is very easy and simple and that is precisely why we miss the point. Along the path one needs guidance and help from a master is needed, someone who has walked on this path and guides you, someone who assures you that yes, you are on the right path, someone who is familiar with the milestones along the path. I am reminded of Meera’s saying:
“Payo Ji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo
Vastu Amolak Dio Mere Sadguru – Kripa Kar Apnayo“
Now, Swami Akhil Saraswati and I are offering to the rest of the world what we have found within ourselves and invite all the fellow travelers to come and attend the Meditation Events & Retreats that we are conducting and find the real treasures within them!
In deep gratitude…
– Ma Anand Divya