Voyages — 06 October 2010

Swami Anand Dwarka’s joyous celebration on 20 September at the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune

Anand Dwarka (Dwarkadass R. Morjaria) left his body on 20 September 2010, at age 76, and was celebrated with a joyous send-off at the Osho Meditation Resort, Pune.

Anand Dwarka taking sannyas

Anand Dwarka taking sannyas

He had moved to Pune about four years ago with his partner Sushila, where he led an active life with regular exercise and meditation. During the last six months he had been battling with cancer – yet he remained positive and cheerful right up to the end.

Accompanied by his family and friends, his body arrived to a memorable welcome at the Osho Meditation Resort as hundreds of sannyasins sang and danced around him. All of them formed a happy procession to the nearby burning ghats where the last rites took place. When his family returned from the ghats they were still humming and swaying with high energy.

A professional photographer, he was affectionately known as ‘DD’ in Nairobi, Kenya, where he had established his studio, Photos Limited, in the sixties. His vast network of personal, social and business contacts ensured that he was always present to click the memorable moments for his clients. As a news cameraman he covered most historical events in Kenya for many decades. As an active member of the Nairobi Lions Club and the Masonic Lodge he had been honoured with many awards, and as a member of the Lohana Mahajan and the Indian communities, he was recognised with glowing tributes. As a sportsman he was always eager for a game. He enjoyed himself to the full – always ready to live intensely, love totally and laugh heartily.

After listening to Osho and participating in Osho’s meditations, one day in 1975, he casually announced that he was ready to take sannyas. The auspicious festival of Janamasthmi was chosen for his initiation – a bubbling celebration for all Nairobi sannyasins. After his initiation he declared that he was giving up smoking, liquour and meat. And he stuck to his resolve.

In 1978, India’s Prime Minister Morarji Desai, severely criticised by Osho earlier, arrived in Nairobi to attend the state funeral of Kenya’s President Jomo Kenyatta. The Indian High Commissioner arranged for a press interview with me as the editor of Kenya’s top newspaper ‘The Nation’ and the special correspondent of India’s biggest news agency PTI. When Desai came and saw both of us dressed in orange with Osho’s malas he declined the interview. Both of us were determined to get an interview: we turned up at the Nairobi airport before his departure and again requested an interview. He declined again and as he winced being photographed with an Osho disciple, Dwarka managed to click my photo with him!

Some years later, Dwarka was shot through his head and throat during an armed, daylight robbery in his studio in Nairobi. There was little hope for him but, against all odds, he survived and again started to talk and led an active life. Had he died in Nairobi, there would have been literally thousands of his relatives and friends who would have turned up for his final farewell.

In Pune he had a very blessed send-off that echoes the words of his master, Osho:

“Only a person who has enjoyed his life becomes capable of enjoying his death. And if you are capable of enjoying your death, you have defeated death. Then there is no more birth for you and no more death for you –  you have learnt the lesson.”

by  Anand Kul Bhushan

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