8th September 1979: The first Mahaparinirvana Day

Remembering Here&Now

Nirvano remembers the day Osho’s father died and became enlightened.

Mahaparinirvana Day is often referred to by irreligious sannyasins as ‘Mahaparibanana Day’!

There are moments in life one never forgets. I still see myself enjoying my afternoon tea-break, sitting on the little wall outside Lao-Tzu House, when suddenly the gate opens slowly and Osho glides by in his Mercedes, giving me just enough presence of mind to clasp my hands round my cup for a would-be namaste! What an unheard of event: The master leaving the ashram in mid-afternoon. It must have to do with his father being in a Pune hospital: Was it time for the son to bid his father his last farewell? Yes, it was. Within hours, Swami Devateerth Bharti had left his body – enlightened!

Osho Dadaji and Mataji
Osho giving his blessing to his father, Swami Devateerth Bharti; his mother in the background

For me, this was the very first enlightenment ever. Within minutes of the news, the whole place burst out in irrepressible celebration: Everyone dancing and singing, spontaneous music bands forming everywhere, playing on all sorts of improvised instruments – in short, all heaven was loose! In next to no time the body had been brought back from the hospital and cremated down by the ghats on the banks of the Mullah river.

The celebration came to its crescendo, when some of the ashes were strewn and distributed all over the sluggish current, covered with the lush green carpet of the blue flowering water hyacinth that lives on excrements human or otherwise: All of a sudden, the exhilarated celebrators threw themselves into the waves for a dip in the blessed ashes, reappearing bedraggled and hung with all kinds of weeds and dirty matter. Alarmed by this unforseen most unhygienic turn, the ashram responsibles decreed that everyone have a shower afterwards and provided enough hot water und soap, not to mention showers! for this mass cleansing.

Which I personnally remember so well, since after my shower my mala was gone – never to be found again. And although I received a new one, it never became ‘mine’ – and I generously gave myself leave to stick to this rather egocentric ‘mine’! After all, Osho himself had hung it round my neck the day I took sannyas.

After Osho’s father, Swami Devateerth Bharti, dies enlightened on 8th Sept 1979, Osho creates an annual festival on 8th September, the Mahaparanirvana Day, to celebrate all sannyasins, past and future, who have died and will die.

Text by Nirvano

Related articles:
Osho World’s video in memory of Devateerth Bharti: Mahaparinirvana Day
Osho’s Discourse on Dadaji’s death: He Died Enlightened

NirvanoNirvano, after working as a professor for German and English language, took sannyas in 1976, the same year he met his wife who then became Deva Ethel. His first work assignment in the commune was translating Osho’s discourses and he is still translating Osho today. Fortunately, his capacity to do this survived his brain aneurysm in 1996. Nirvano also writes for the German Osho Times.

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