Prem Samveta: A tribute from Asanga

Voyages

… left her body on 25th September 2010. She was 63.

Samveta spent several years in Pune 1 working as an acupuncturist and later also at the healing centre at Medina Rajneesh in England. Many people experienced her quiet calm and beauty during treatment sessions there. Asanga, her lover and long-time soul mate, always remembers the image of a goddess with waist length flowing blond hair as she walked across the lawn. Later they lived on the Ranch in Oregon, where she cleaned in the Hotel Rajneesh. Incidentally, Oregon was where she grew up.

After the Ranch closed, she and Asanga moved back to England and took up rock climbing together and later moved to Snowdonia in Wales to be near the mountains. They bought a farmhouse with outbuildings and 14 acres of land, which they worked together as a smallholding. Samveta created a cozy home and continued the practice of Tai Chi.

In 1999, their connection with Osho was re-awakened and until 2007 a yearly trip to Pune happened. There, for a time she was known for the delicious cakes she baked, but her main passion was Tai Chi and it was not unusual for Yogendra to refer to her as a ‘role model’ when teaching!

Smily gardener

Smily gardener

Feeding Fez

Feeding Fez

Sam and friends

Sam and friends

Injection

Injection, ouch!

Wedding anniversary

Wedding anniversary 2007, flying back from Pune

Craging on a cold day

Craging on a cold day

Tarts and villains

Tarts and villains

Super-couple

Super-couple

Xmas 1990

Xmas 1990

Krishnamurti Lake, Oregon

Krishnamurti Lake, Oregon

Samveta

Samveta

Samvida, Asanga, Samveta

Samvida, Asanga, Samveta

Pink Champagne

Pink Champagne

Sannyas wedding in Medina, 1984

Sannyas wedding in Medina, 1984

Appearance for local TV

Appearance for local TV

Sannyas Initiation, 1977

Sannyas Initiation, 1977

In Vermont, aged 20

In Vermont, aged 20

Sweet sixteen

Sweet sixteen

Cow girl

Cow girl

With big sister

With big sister

Cutie

Cutie

Asanga writes, “Her body developed cancer in both lungs, which was extensive and untreatable by the time it was diagnosed. She had probably been slowly becoming unwell for many months but covered it up well, especially to prevent me from worrying about her. That was typical of how she was. Finally the cough and breathlessness necessitated her being admitted to hospital about 5 weeks before she died.

“The presentation was unusual and she was too ill for them to do a biopsy (xrays and scans were not diagnostic). Finally she came to the point where she could barely maintain her breathing adequately even on oxygen, and we took the decision for her to go on life support (breathing machine) under anesthetic to get a biopsy and a diagnosis that might be treatable. She was kept on the machine while the tests were being done; she was conscious and could communicate with us (writing came in handy), but not talk due to the tube in her trachea. She was sedated because it is impossible to be intubated otherwise, due to the discomfort of wanting to gag continuously.

“When the diagnosis came back two days later, she had to come to terms with the fact that whatever happened she was going to die soon, and that she was only alive at that point because of the life support, which anyway was temporary. She was very brave and calm about it although obviously needing time to assess the information and surrender to the inevitable.

“I was with her throughout this from 2 p.m. Friday, when we received the diagnosis, until she died the following morning at midday. That time with her was very precious for both of us (my daughter, Samvida, was also there) giving us an opportunity to say goodbye to each other as totally as possible. She did not want me to leave the room, even to go to the bathroom, or to fall asleep! The whole experience was very, very beautiful. The medical team was absolutely great – so patient, open and compassionate – and we apparently blew them away as a family and especially Sam herself. She obviously made their difficult job easy for them, and we saw, in that, her healing and caring ability working even then.

“The consultants looking after her both told her that she was a remarkable person and that they felt honored to have had the privilege of meeting her. After she died one of them told me I was a very lucky man to have found such a person to share my life with. We were lucky to have ended up with the two most people-centered woman doctors I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

“When she was ready she chose when and how to go. She decided she wanted a quick and painless end. This meant that she would actually be sedated to the point of sleeping before they removed the tube; if not they did not know how difficult it might be for her to breathe and there would obviously be a short delay then before they gave her any necessary sedation to deal with it. The only advantage to being awake when the tube was removed was that she may have then been able to talk. I think she made the correct decision.

“Just as the sedation was about to kick in I said my final goodbye and told her to have a nice journey. She beamed at me and indicated that she was ready to do so. After that she carried on breathing more and more slowly for another 80 minutes before stopping. The moment she left, my body shuddered and felt cold and then I was aware of a huge amount of energy that was in my hands and fingers. There was the impression of a shaft of light that took off, without hesitation, like a rocket into the cosmos. I don’t think she looked back; I certainly do not feel any lingering presence. Since then I feel quite different: open and with a sense of humor like hers, which I never had before. I am amazed at how more or less easily I am able to carry on with life still. I think Osho ‘taught’ us well. Having had that gift of being totally with her during those last amazing hours there is no grief, only memories of wonder and gratitude.

“One bonus was that both of us had to live with this diagnosis for less than 24 hours, and not for a long time with a death sentence hanging over our heads, with all the other knock-on effects of making decisions about going through aggressive treatment regimes. I wonder if she may have known this and chose to deal with it in her own way, which I believe was right.

“Her body was cremated on the 4th of October at the local crematorium, in a celebration of singing, dancing and sharing precious memories and photographs of her life, from babyhood to recent times. Her sister, Carol, was there over from America. Sam had always kept in touch with her family. The funeral director had never seen anything like it, and he enjoyed it! We carried the beautiful split bamboo wicker casket in to the voice of Madhuro singing ‘Music of Silence’. The personal addresses were interspersed with singing and dancing to James Brown’s ‘Sex Machine’ and ‘The Universe Is Singing a Song’. The casket was lowered to ‘Love Is the Fire’.

“We are hoping to have a concert in her memory with live music from Surahbhi and her band at a later date.”

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