…left his body on 5th November 2017
Let it be known that anything I describe is solely my experience, my perception, my translation of what Avesh conveyed to me. I cannot possibly speak for him, as I realise his life came/comes from a perspective of oneness, limitlessness, no-mind. I can only recall the few snippets of his magical life story that he shared with me intermittently over the twenty years I’ve known him and my personal transformation in his presence.
To describe the spirit of this authentic, luminous being is an impossible task. He lived with an intensity and totality that I have never witnessed before. To sit with him is a reminder that “This is it!” now – the ineffable, indivisible miracle, the timeless meeting of heaven and earth, yet utterly human – not an esoteric faraway goal but a tangible playful oneness that a new born child lives. This moment – the only one that is – lived openly, vulnerably, to its fullest. He lives in that magical space of total presence (love), of “not-knowing”; that is the thread, the sutra, that runs through his whole life. He gave his full attention to whoever requests it, or invites themselves, with no sense of ‘me’ and ‘them’; only an ‘us’. Everyone is family to him. His wish is that we remember who we are and shine. He is the only person I have met so far who is the living authentic, embodiment of Osho’s message; yet utterly himself. Just as Osho is, he is his own authority.
Born on Christmas day in a Japanese concentration camp in Shanghai, he came into this world to the sweet sound of Christmas carols and the brutality and pain of man’s separative mind. Later, in Liverpool, when he was about seven or eight, seeing a man on the street, in the heart of winter, with no shoes on, he made a promise to himself that he would change everything and never stop feeling for those in pain.
In the 40’s and 50’s he grew up in the Lancashire countryside (near Liverpool) under the care of his devoted auntie Emma and Dad. They were loving Christians who put him first; something he realised very few beings had had the privilege of experiencing in their lives. Everybody who sat with him was indeed ‘first’ to him.
Having grown up in Liverpool in the 50’s, he was surrounded by the sound of the Beatles and Rock and Roll and formed a band while still at school. Shortly after his Dad passed away, he went to college in San Francisco where his Mum lived. There he started another band and their single just crept into the charts. On the verge of so-called “success”, when the producer started demanding that they wear this and that outfit and project a manufactured image, he immediately walked away – always a rebellious spirit who only ever followed his heart without compromise: incorruptible.
At the age of twenty-one while walking in the mountains in California with his then girlfriend and a group of friends, he felt a magnetic pull towards a nearby summit. Having split off from the group and made his way up to the top, the instant he sat down on the rock at the top of the mountain he exploded into oneness, eternity, infinity, the indescribable, ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’. He chose to come back into the body knowing that he had things to share on the physical plane.
Some years later, a famous Rolling Stones tribute band in Germany called Sticky Fingers had just lost their lead singer and asked him if he would fill the role. “I’ll do it,” he told them, “but I don’t follow anybody, I’m not Mick Jagger, I’ll do it my way!” Although he was a roaring success because he gave everything he had on stage, he was not interested in success and quit the band some months later.
It was in Germany that one day a total stranger knocked on his door and handed him a book by Osho (Bhagwan at the time). Instant recognition – he was off to Poona. For many years he sat silently in satsang in Osho’s presence but still a rebel, even amongst sannyasins.
Fast forward to the first weeks of the Oregon commune where he would sit meditating outside Osho’s trailer keeping a respectful distance away so as not to encroach on the master’s space. His relationship to Osho was like that of Mahakashyap to Buddha’s; not a word spoken, no letters, no problems, just a silent communion and flowering.
He made a vow that he would never sing or play any music until it came to him spontaneously, out of the sacred silence, the emptiness/fullness within. Just after selling his only guitar in Poona 2, beautiful notes began bubbling up to the surface like children coming to play. If the “children” stopped coming he would never push, fill in the gaps or interfere – he would wait in trust. Yet slowly, the melodies kept trickling back more and more till he was singing the most divine healing melodies I have ever heard… the words came later.
I first met Avesh at Osho Ko Hsuan School in Devon, many years later in 1998. My son Prem was a boarder at the school and I came to visit him on his eleventh birthday. A few weeks earlier Prem had been gushing over the phone about a new teacher who would take them out into the fields during maths lessons weaving magic tales about the flowers speaking to them and asking for permission to pick them. I realised later that that teacher was Avi.
As I walked into the small music room at Ko Hsuan I unexpectedly burst into tears upon hearing the most divine melody and words wafting through the room:
Peace and light and love inside
In your heart to guide you.
With an open heart and an easy smile
To light you on your way.
The healing tone of his voice, the bitter-sweet tune and the invitation in these words, instantly reawakened my child heart. Avesh turned around and said,“ I’ve been waiting for you for seven years!”
From that point onwards my life changed totally. I stayed and travelled with him on and off for twenty years joining him in the most magical locations on earth; Vancouver Island, The Big Island Hawaii, Byron Bay Australia. Everything he touched turned to gold. He lit up the lives of cashiers, elderly people, beggars, policemen with a few kind words, a laugh and a recognition that they too were divine. In Poona 2, a friend of his who had been observing him at the canteen commented, “I noticed you hugging an ashram big shot (can’t remember his name) and then hugging and chatting to the Indian helpers like friends. You treat everybody equally, with the same love and respect – no hierarchy.”
He could have been sitting in front of thousands, delivering mind-blowing insights and pointers back to Self, such was his charisma and power, but he was not interested or drawn to being the centre of attention. I heard him saying, “Osho did that drama of talking to thousands on stage. It served its purpose – those days are over!”
He holds the pure, sacred space within, of love of Self. The Self that is also everybody’s Self. He always points me back to my Self. “Anshu, love yourself, including your child’s pain! The only difference between you and me is that I totally love myself, including the beautiful madness of the mind!” His love is all-inclusive.
Like Osho, he was waiting for the perfect time to light the match that would ignite the whole forest, to fulfill the promise that everything would change. When he passed away, his last words were, “Love, Love, Love.”
It was only the following day that it suddenly hit me, in waves of ecstasy and celebration – he had indeed lit the match and we (anybody who is knowingly or unknowingly touched or moved) were the burning forest carrying the dream of a new beginning – one family, no hierarchy. For there is really no space and time, no separation. Everything is already here and the healing of one is the healing of All. Everyone carries the flame in his/her own unique way.
Many times I heard him say, “I know nothing.” He meant it in total sincerity; he lived in awe and wonder of existence: this moment because it is, ultimately, impossible to know anything, only to live it fully like an innocent child. The name Avesh that was given to him by Osho means ‘authentic’.
Avi, I am eternally grateful for your unerring love
For being the authentic spark that constantly pointed me back to myself
For being a living example of someone who was uncompromisingly himself
For showing me that I can live moment to moment in a space of ‘not knowing’
For showing me that sharing is the only way to keep the river flowing
For never judging me or trying to change me
For sharing your dream
For holding the incorruptible, indescribable space, out of which everything is born and back into which all disappears
For lighting the forest
Ah, this is it! My goodness me!
Love Love Love
Christmas Blessings – a letter from Dhyan Avesh (27 December 2014)
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