The Rishi Told Me


A poem written and read by Devadasi, Madhuri and Sarita’s 93 year old mother

My mother, Devadasi, is 93 years old, and lives in Lake Arrowhead, California. She is active, ornery, and healthy. She has written poetry all her life, but unlike many poets I can think of (including me) she keeps her poetry mostly private. We had to really work and encourage her to read it on vid, but once she had begun, she really got into it.

She took sannyas along with me in 1973 in Bombay. She had left a 30-year marriage to my father a few years before and we were living in San Francisco. Sarita had gone to India, met Osho, and written to us about him. And we went…We stayed 6 weeks that time, going to a meditation camp in Mount Abu. Devadasi later came back to Poona twice more and was at the Ranch for several months at the beginning. She has been married thrice and widowed twice. She gave birth to seven children, has suffered as much as any person can hope to bear, and has had many adventures, travelling many places and living in Alaska and Mexico. After the age of seventy she and her second husband began buying, renovating, and selling houses, and did very well; so that she finally could live comfortably. She loves photography. She has published many short stories in women’s magazines and a book of collected short stories, The Dream Years. It was she who taught me that if you feel a poem coming, write it down immediately – don’t wait, or it will be gone. I have followed this advice always.

Last Christmas she and Sarita visited me in Missouri, and I was so happy to welcome them to our huge house. One day we were sharing poetry (we do that in our family) and she ended up reading mine aloud. I was just amazed at the power of her delivery – she read my poems with more richness and drama than I could. I was very impressed. So – here are more of her poems, read by her:

Madhuri for Osho News

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