…left her body on 30th December 2016.
Yoga Mukta (aka Greek Mukta, Catherine Mathilda Gregos) was born to a wealthy Greek oil shipping magnate. She married the grandson of the great statesman Elefthérios Venizélos, the maker of modern Greece. She had three daughters, Arietta, Seema and Neeta.
She met Osho in 1971 and remained close to him for many many years. She donated a massive fortune to the commune when Osho established himself in Pune in 1974. Everybody who was in Pune in those early years remember her sitting on the steps of Krishna House in the afternoons with a little note pad to take appointments for the darshans. She was then always sitting on Osho’s right informing him who was next, their names and why they came to see him.
In the commune her work was to take care of Lao Tzu garden around Osho’s house which she had to let go wild like a tropical jungle, according to his instructions. She was often seen at Lao Tzu gate during her breaks.
On the Ranch and in Pune 2 she was the Dynamic Meditation Master.
Mukta was part of the 21, the Inner Circle, for many years. After Osho had left his body she spent time in Pune but also loved travelling, in India and abroad. She then moved to Innsbruck, Austria to be with Antaro. She was diagnosed with dementia and spent a year in a home. Mukta died just a few days after her 89th birthday.
Article updated 5.1.17: correction of age and length of stay in the home.
Article updated 6.1.17: corrected position of Antaro, deleted sentence of connection between friends and Mukta when she was in Austria.
Ageh Bharti remembers this conversation during the Mt. Abu camp in April 1971, in his book Blessed Days with Osho:
Everybody was drunk with the nectar of the camp. There was one sannyasin, Ma Yoga Mukta from Greece. Her sixteen-year old daughter took sannyas in the camp. When someone asked her, “You may be enjoying a little less in the camp due to language problem?” she replied smilingly, “I don’t follow Hindi, but I can hear him.”
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I got to know and enjoy Mukta when I spent a few years guarding in Osho’s–and Mukta’s–garden from 1988 through 1990. My impersonations of her at afternoon tea time used to crack her up to no end. “Vat are yoo do-ink with da’plants?! Don watur da Peek-cocks!”
There’s one story I’m not sure many people knew. The story of Mukta’s vision about 20 years before she was a sannyasin. I took her out to dinner in Poona in spring 1990 and she told me over mutter paneer and buttered nan about being visited as a young woman by the spirit of a young Indian appearing at her bedside at night when she was falling off to sleep. The beautiful Indian man with curly black hair and curly little black beard looked around 21 years old, dressed in a simple white robe. He told her they would be together in the future. She felt tremendous love from him, like he was her soul mate.
Mukta eventually came to Osho and when she saw that photo of him at age 21, taken after his enlightenment, she immediately recognized that her spectral visitor had been Osho. She added that the visions at her bedside started in 1953, around the time he was enlightened.
Farewell Mukta and hello Mukta formlessly here and EverNow!
Mukta, you left us. Fare well and RIP. You have been a jewel in the crown of Osho’s work. Fly high and come back to the garden with your loving care! Love and light, Prem Jayadip
I had the pleasure to work as a gardener under her guidance for 16 years in the Commune International in Poona. I took care of the area around Buddha Hall and in Lao Tzu Garden. Mukta taught me how to love all the plants and how to make the garden more beautiful, by planting and watering and supporting the growth of all those exotic creatures. I always felt her trust in my work, so I could really develop my love for nature and work on my own. I remember when she one day came to me and handed to me a long thing wrapped in paper. She smiled at me when I unwrapped it like a curious little boy at Christmas time. It was a piece of marble from Osho’s bedroom and with tears of gratitude in my eyes I hugged her, constantly whispering, “Thank you, Mukta.” This gesture was the highlight of my time with Mukta. I am so blessed to be her gardener and so I can only whisper: “Thank you, beloved Mukta.”
During August 2006 I used to meet Mikta walking around Buddha Groove, while, both of us, were listening to the bamboos’ sounds. One night I was having an ice cream at the Plaza and was sitting at her table. She looked at me with her deep and childlike eyes and exclaimed: “You better get rid of that ice cream soon! For a short period Osho was eating ice cream everyday. That was the only moment in his bodylife that I’ve seen him becoming chubby! Then he dropped ice cream and returned to his natural shape!” In each of her words there was always an anecdote, a memory, a suchness of great value. Proud that I had that chance to spend few moments with her! Thank you Mukta!
Sw Atmo Heera
Meeting Ma Yoga Mukta in 1976 was an experience of meeting a female Osho Sufi mystic for me – part dragon and part buddha, but my o my what a devotee to Osho and his vision!
We had many many wonderful moments together, and I could always count on her for humorous, slightly sarcastic comments on the topics of the most “current events or dramas” of those days.
I marveled how Mukta could be friends with you, but at the same time, if she didn’t like something you did or said, she would be in your face with that unmistakable Greek accent… then if you got it, she would just be as mellow and loving as can be. She was impossible for me to predict, so around her, for me anyway, spontaneity and being present was a must.
In Poona 1, from 1974-81, when Osho gave Discourse every morning and shared Darshan every evening “Yoga” Mukta was there EACH time! We are talking 7 years straight! In those days, we sat straight down on the marble floor – no one was bringing in “lecture cushions”. You could improvise with your lungi or shawl, but that was it. I once asked her how she managed – she just smiled her ironical smile and said something like: “I tell the body it’s not going anywhere… and I then tune into Osho, go inside, and the body disappears.” But she would not “space out” in Darshan, as she was the one calling our names to come in front of Osho. I find that an example of “authentic yoga”.
On the Ranch in Oregon, for 3 years, Mukta and I were alternating leading the Dynamic Meditation each morning at 6am in Rajneesh Mandir. We had many intimate times sharing (with gentle back and forths) about his methods, and I know we both enjoyed our dance together. I just loved hearing the stories from her about the early Meditation Camp days, before Poona, when Osho was refining and experimenting with this and his other incomparable and priceless gifts to sannyasins and humanity.
In early Pune 3, after Osho had left his body, Anasha and I would have a special dinner with Mukta about every 2 or 3 weeks. She would often have a special flask hidden in her clothes and then pour herself a drink! We would talk, joke, speculate, and gossip about all and everything as all of us were adjusting to life in Poona without Osho in his body. She was one crazy, fun, and unique woman…
I knew she was not well in her body for many years, so Anasha and I were not surprised with this news. I know Mukta directly experienced a place beyond the body/mind, and she was always an inspiration and source of Osho Love for me. I have an intuition that she left her body while in Samadhi. My only regret is that I could not help burn her body and give her a good send-off! But we will do something for her in our way…
She was in my heart already, and she is in my heart more now. When I close my eyes and tune into her essence, I can feel her love and meditative being inside.
Yoga Mukta, you are Blessed! Thank you so much for your gardening and your wit and your totality, not to mention for funding the original Korean Park Ashram! You gave so much depth, beauty, and love to the Commune of Osho. I know he was/is grateful to you also.
Dear One, You have been an Alpha in his tribe for what seems to be forever! Now you are the Omega as well. We honour you, your great heart, your fierce love. May your joy be unbounded. Love upon love.
I still walk the gardens you so lovingly planted. Fly high Mukta. Blessed are you indeed to have walked the path with Osho. I still remember the time when we had gone to a party and walking back you kept forgetting my name and how we laughed about it. Much love,
Good bye in the world of beloved Master Osho.
Swami Kalpesh Bharti
I had the honor and gift in this life to work in Osho’s garden in Lao Tzu with Mukta for many years, sometime from 1986 till 2000 when I finally left the commune to live in the world. I will never forget her and the magical garden she created together with the master. She was a really unwavering Osho lover, total, single-pointed, Zen and Zorba. Her love for Osho was something from the beyond and still touches me deep in my heart. Tears of gratefulness in this moment are there. She will be forever and ever in my heart.
I loved her. She was my boss and my friend. She taught me so much of devotion and non-seriousness and spontaneity. I love her and wave her goodbye with great gratitude. PS Just on New Year’s Day this photo of her came to me.
sw deva rashid
Beloveds, during the last years I have been seeing Mukta just on photos that were provided on FB. I am glad that Mukta made it now! I met Mukta when working in Osho’s garden in springtime in 1997; she instructed me just to pick up the big leaves of the giant trees. I loved it, being there, the swans and Dolano and Mukta silently showering love. Once I went so coockoo and blissed out that I raised my hands, palms outwards, to everyone and Mukta advised me not to do that for my own sake. What a beautiful intervention. Mukta, I loved you right away. Fly high! To your family and friends my deepest sympathy.
Gecondoleerd met het verlies van Mukta,
It was always a great pleasure to see graceful Ma Mukta in the garden, always smiling, picking dry leaves or watering plants. May her soul rest in Peace.
Swami Subhash Saraswati
Sitting in Pune one afternoon in Osho´s garden in the 90’s, there popped up one sentence from my belly: “Europe is over for you.” In the evening on the same day Mukta, Antaro and I went out for dinner and I shared what I had heard. Mukta laughed and invited me to choose and donate a space in the pyramids to stay there from now on. The next day Mukta guided me through the pyramids, a space in Rinzai chose me and it took me one month to come back from Europe and to stay in Rinzai for the next 7 years. This incident and the simple way it unfolded is still one of the most awesome miracles in my life. There is a deep gratitude for all involved, and specially Mukta taught me, that it is possible to be simple and ordinary with and around a master. In that she is extraordinary to me. Wonderful gardener woman, goodbye.
Beloved Mukta, I remember your big smile when, as you sat on the steps of Krishna House that morning, I told you, in some trepidation, wondering if he would accept me, that I wanted to take sannyas. You were the ultimate devotee. I learned so much from you about love and trust working in the garden with you in Lao Tzu House, and smuggling in the occasional rum bottle that you would send us out for, not that you were a big drinker – you were so filled up with Osho. We all loved the little garden parties you created for those working with you and anyone else around. I will never forget you. Love,
Sw. Prem Christo
First time I saw Mukta I felt kind of delicately being connected to her through a thread of love, of subtle devotion to Osho – at a darshan in Pune. When we later met face to face, no words were needed: in silence and with tears of joy we hugged each other! Later we spoke in Greek, but our first contact was an experience of heart’s beauty by itself, love at first sight! Farewell, beloved Mukta!
Μa Prem Amodini
We are all connected in an intricate web, like a root system of a vast tree. Mukta was blessed to be so close to the source of infinite love and bliss – our beloved master. Probably all of us we who were fortunate enough to be present when Osho was in the body, will have some personal affinity to Ma Yoga Mukta. Whether it was in sannyas darshan sitting silently – with a huge grin – next to the master. Or in the gardens around the Ashram, or having her lead Dynamic in the Mandir in Rajneeshpuram. Mukta was the most devoted of devotees. In the last few days I was wondering how she is doing, so I looked at her facebook page and saw the latest photo of her looking so frail. I thought to write her an encouraging message but I did not know she’d already gone to meet her master in the Garden of the Beloved beyond this earthly plane. Bye bye, Mukta – now you really are in Union and Free (Yoga / Mukta).
Bon voyage, Mukta! You were the very embodiment of a spontaneous female version of Zorba the Buddha. Your presence by his side and in his garden simply felt like “home.” Fly high, goddess that you are!
Ma Prem Sunshine
In the last years when she was in Pune, every time I came back from the West she greeted me with a great smile and a “Welcome”. Then few days later when she met me again she forgot and did the same – and the love was immense.
Ma Prem Rajya
When I see all these tributes I’m not surprised! You were really the only remaining living thing (apart from the trees) in the Poona commune after Osho himself left there; and it didn’t matter a bit if you were one of the 21 or other “chosen ones”.
After all we were all “chosen” by Osho to become his sannyasins (not vice versa), as he explained to us.
You welcomed me then and there (in 1999) as a new hostess into your commune. And you ALWAYS enjoyed my poetry (and men) and so our friendship unfolded, and I’m sure you would have liked this latest one:
When I think of what it means
to love you… it delights, it screams
in your face, in your body
it tampers with your patience it seems
it makes you restless, resist
it dances, whirls, it will insist
to play with your eyes, your body.
You also once told me you were there with Gautama the Buddha also, in a past life, standing next to him. And then you asked me to forget about that. You always loved and preferred talking to men… You are the great Woman. You supported and loved the Great Osho as you reminded him of his own grandmother… the same face, he said. How he must have loved you!
And I feel you will come around one more, and last, time to support another Buddha in the future who will need you. Just a feeling I have always had about you, my Beloved and Crazy (I return the compliment :)!) Mukta!
But forget about that for now, and enjoy this rest. Love,
Beloved Mukta, I last saw you in Byron Bay in 1995. We had a beautiful and precious time together. The years working with you in Poona 1 as a gardener are some of my most treasured memories. I have always loved you, in spite of time and distance. Thank you for the blessing of knowing you. Farewell with all my love.
Anne Sweet (Ma Prem Amrit)
Mukta beloved, the Dynamic meditation that you led with your deep powerful voice, back in 1985, while I was doing the Therapist training in Oregon, got me to really enjoy and touch ecstatic moments. Your deep voice with your Greek accent held me up during the Hoo Hoo segment. Oh! Mukta you are going back to the Source! Please save me a front seat. I will be coming soon. How blessed are we to have been invited by Osho to be with Him!
Beloved Mukta, I wish you a beautiful journey on your path without your body now, with a lot of love and light guiding you. I remember – as it was yesterday – when you and I met in the bookshop in Pune in 1996 – it must have been April or May. I was working in the bookshop at this time being responsible for the books department there (the other department was for Videos and MCs). The temperature was getting higher (in Pune this starts happening from the beginning of March) and in the bookshop we were lucky to have air-conditioning. So it happened that one day you appeared working with me, for some weeks for half-day, to get some cool air from the air-conditioning. Anyway, I loved to work with you. I felt so much love coming from you. You asked me what to do because I was in charge of the department, yes, but you were 38 years older than me (which means you had more the age of my mother) and you did everything I told you to do in such an easy, loving way – which left me in wonder. Thank you so much for your love in those days, Mukta. Thank you so much for caring for Osho’s garden which I could admire while doing Za Zen in his walkway. Thank you so much for your loving presence. Lots of love to you from
Ma Dhyan Rohini from Germany
Mukta, a love letter…
Doing nothing in particular is your splendid art. Your genius of aesthetic perfection is steeped in the secret of absence. This is your action, your playful skill: you resonate with what is placed in front of you.
Sometimes you show me what I want to see. My dreams and aspirations are grasping for emptiness with hands so full of longing. Most secret fantasies circle around how I want to be. Imagination in the distant future, a mirage of light.
You encourage me to face what I fear the most. Trembling, I turn to look as far away as possible. But you never let me get away with straying in delusion and remind me of the present moment. It is here and now that we find – love.
Still young, I try to mimic your behavior: I stand and walk as you do. Then, I hear you laugh about the absurdity of one trying to be, another. Okay you say, let’s dance, but invent your own choreography.
At times you kindly point me towards the other side of things. The ultimate reality plays hide and seek in a spoke frozen in the wheel of time. A tiny grain of sand becomes aware of this celestial body, a part rejoicing with the whole.
Grateful to be here we celebrate a moment of ecstasy. Catching us by surprise we ride a delightful wave of bliss from this moment into the next. A flicker of enlightenment erases the darkness that still lurks behind.
From the hidden side you acquaint me with a beautiful detail of an ancient statue. Marble cliffs polished by the gentleness of the sea for Millennia. The classical nose gives away the strength of perfect confidence, mixed with childlike innocence.
Sunlight, integrity and honesty dazzle my eyes in the morning. Still not quite awakened yet, I mumble: let me sleep – a little longer. Your compassion, so delicious, pierces the veil of yet the sweetest dream.
You introduce me to nothing special: appreciation of the simple things. As a step forward enters new territory the gravel leaves an imprint on the sole of the foot for a little while. The deep blue sky reflects itself in you without effort.
This empty moment overwhelms my soul. In spaciousness, my laughter, my tears and my silence find themselves at home so joyfully. Contagiously, you smile…you whisper, “My friend, awaken, wake up now. You still have some more loving to do, today.”
Arjava aka Frank Arjava Petter
Beloved Mukta, only two days before your ‘take off’ we could still share LOVE to one another by phone and mail. From now on, in silence; this will not stop from within me. THANK YOU for so many years of HEART-connection! Love,
Sw. Dhyan Johan
When I was a young sannyasin in 1984, Mukta was leading many meditations; she was a great support. Once she came to me during Dynamic Meditation while I was rolling on the floor and said to me, “Cry, cry, your heart wants to cry.” This encouraged me to let go. Another time I was worried because in Nataraj Meditation I bumped a lot into other people – I got so carried away. When I asked her about it, she just said, “No problem, just be total.” Thank you, Mukta!
I have a few direct experiences with Ma Mukta, of her kind gentle spirit, her perceptiveness and independence. This Mukta is a devotee of Osho, who demonstrated in her ordinary living the spirit of a mystic for each of us to appreciate who could see it. It is enriching to hear that many of us can.
I found her guidance gentle, caring and compassionate. If the photo included of her in these recognitions is of the older Mukta and recent, one can see at the very least an Osho mystic there. How many times does the main stream culture and it’s methods of categorizing us and labeling us miss-take a zen master for a crazy, or some other way of saying that the person is not average or normal, not part of the crowd. I have stopped using the categories that psychology and psychiatry have developed to define each of us, most especially as it might be mis-applied to someone of the quality, height and depth of the beautiful Mystical Ma Mukta.
In the moment of hearing that this Osho sannyasi was not in the body my heart opened and tears gentle poured out of love and appreciation for her — tears of love for a kindred spirit and authentic seeker of truth. Tears of connection and love.
For me, in Poona I, Mukta was the more experienced disciple that one watches and learns from, by osmosis, just by watching them walk, talk, laugh, doze, leave the body, disappear into the master, breath — and yet be simply ordinary, passing you by as you are entering and she is leaving the tailor shop on MG Road.
Her energy was a flowing liquid friendliness — it still is. I have heard Osho say that we sannyasins celebrate death because we celebrate deathlessness; that we celebrate eternal life: forms manifest and unmanifest but life is eternal.
Beloved Mukta Ma, you have been a blessing in my life. Jai Osho!
with much love
You were the one to give me sannyas in Kiev and I had no idea what I was getting into – thank you, beloved!