Osho’s mother – Amrit Saraswati

Remembering Here&Now

During the seventies, Osho’s mother tells Sarjano how she took sannyas and how she thinks of him as her Master but also her son

When after two thousands years another Cecil B. DeMille will make a movie about Osho, very likely with the title ‘The Master of Masters’, he will certainly never use an actress for the character of the mother who looks like this woman.

If Amrit Saraswati, the mother of our Master would come for an audition, the director would certainly say: “Too ordinary, she is not the right type!”

We therefore hope for another Pasolini who perhaps will be able to see the mother of Christ in this little woman who has abandoned every pose, every pretension, every attitude, and is naturally innocent, luminous, transparent, and utterly simple.

Amrit Saraswati
Amrit Saraswati

Why the mother of a Christ is supposed to be pleasant and shining like a doll is something that has always completely eluded me (but perhaps works for the production and sale of the sacred images?).

Even more I should hope for a Miklós Jancsó or another Akira Kurosawa and their cinematic technique which is called in their jargon ‘long sequences’. This woman in fact does not act, not even unconsciously; she probably wouldn’t even be able to…  She can merely come in and out from a ‘sequence plan’, showing only her intense face that obliterates every language, any word.

She speaks only in Hindi, and she offers you only a few timeless sentences, with no trace of any artifice or compliance, to the point that in front of her all my questions vanish completely, every tentative attempt to verbalize breaks down miserably, even worse, it becomes a sort of exercise in futility and more and more unbearable…

I am painfully divided between the desire to know, to ask her about more details, to steal (as we usually say) some more words from her… and the impulse of bowing down at her feet and to rest there in silence… and today I will do both these things.

“I have not been the first person of the family to take sannyas, because my daughters have done it long before me….” Amrit speaks with a feeble voice, almost transparent, but with an incredible emotion.

“The day I took sannyas wasn’t because of a decision, but because on that morning something happened to me. My son never asked me to take sannyas, so that morning I was telling to those present what was happening to me in that moment, and someone went immediately to inform Osho, telling him that his mother was ready to be initiated, to which Osho just answered, ‘Good!’

“Then he sent somebody to bring me in his presence, but I told him that I wasn’t quite ready, because I had not taken a shower yet, and I would need to change my clothes; Osho sent word that it didn’t matter, and that I should come and see him without wasting any time, and so I went….”

The room seems filled with a palpable emotion, and in this silence one can only hear the slow breathing of those present, while I bow at the feet of the mother and stay there for an eternal time, crouched at her feet until she starts speaking again:

“Bhagwan never gave any hint to the members of the family for them to take sannyas, so for each one of us it has been a spontaneous event, born purely from our souls; it is difficult for me to narrate that experience, because although I know what happened to me, I will never be capable of describing it, not even now.

“I can only say that in that moment, when he placed the mala around my neck and bowed to my feet, I had the clear sensation that he was not longer my son but only my Master. Our primogenital relationship had ended, and now another relationship was taking place, the one between disciple and Master. He blessed me in that moment, and lifted my hand so that I could bless him too, and then it was all over; it was a sort of farewell between son and mother, and from now on another story was starting.”

Q.: “Please talk to me about his childhood… which one is the fondest memory that you have about ‘your child’, about little Mohan?”

A.: “My memories are of a child that never gave me any problem, never something to worry about. I was taking care of many children in my village, I was like a second mother to many of them, and sometimes I had to beat them up, but then little Mohan would come and scold me, saying that I should not punish them, that I should never punish any child!”

Once somebody asked Osho why he bowed to his mother before initiating her into sannyas. The Master answered that he simply wanted to thank her in this way, and that this was a way to say goodbye forever, because in that moment she ceased being his mother. The womb that his soul had searched for seven hundred years (that much time had passed from his previous reincarnation…) had now exhausted it’s obligation, and as one day she had given life to him, now he, her Master, was initiating the mother to a new life, the life of a disciple.

On that day their earthly connection was broken, and another deeper spiritual connection had begun, yet I have the feeling that the mother is not totally free from her past, from her function;  that she tries to hide this sentiment with her innocence and infinite modesty behind the veneration for the Master, touches me at the bottom of my heart… but I swallow my tears and I ask:

“How do you feel when the Master is sick in his body and can’t leave his bed to come out and sit with us?  Who do you think about then, about your Master or your son?”

A.: “Oooohhh…eeehhh…yes, sometimes I still have this feeling of being his mother, and I cannot forget that I have created his body; when I see his body so fragile, when he doesn’t come to give his discourse because his body is not well… then I cannot avoid to remember that he is my son. But even in those moments the palms of my hands fold in prayer, and I bow in front of him with my heart in turmoil, incapable as I am to contain both these emotions: the one of the mother and the one of the disciple… and then I cry, I try to hide it… but I cry, and not only about the delicate health of my Master, but because my son is sick….”

Again we can feel this silence in the room… and who will dare break it? Now you can’t even hear the people breathing; the intensity of these feelings has created an instant of absolute immobility, as if suddenly grace had descended in this room to dispense a fragment of eternity.

Will you ever forgive me, oh mother, to have dug out your secret?

My body finds itself bowing again at her feet, while the presence of the mother seems to enlighten the first shadows of the night, and everything, just everything, is frozen in this moment.

I wish to say thank you, I wish that this instant would never end; I would like to pray silently at her feet, I would like to cry and laugh, I would like to say something to express my gratitude, I would like to carry with me always this emotion, this grace, but I don’t do anything at all, I don’t say a word…

I just stay there, in utter stillness for an endless time, to let my head be caressed by those hands that had caressed HIS head so many times; I listen simply to the silent music of the womb that has created him, the soft breath of the woman who gave birth to my Master….

Read Sarjano’s interview of Osho’s father…

Copyright © 2010 Swami Svatantra Sarjano for Osho News

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