Devika’s letter about her experience of living in the Resort after she lost her flat.
I would like to respond to Wendelin’s article Selling my Flat in Pune by telling my own story.
I have never had a flat to sell (I wish I had), but I had a room in a large bungalow down the road from the Resort which I had rented for the last 20 years since Osho left the body. Before that I had lived since the early 1970’s (Pune One) mostly in rented bamboo huts by the river with no electricity and no running water. I loved the huts though, as I loved my room in the bungalow in the back gate road even though it was so simple and Indian, with a stone slab floor and one tap half way up one wall. The cold water became warm when the sun at midday heated up the pipes outside in summer. It was an old kitchen with a large stone platform at one side. There the primitive Indian cooking stove had once, years before, stood with iron pots and pans. On that platform I placed my coconut mattress so I had more floor space for my open wooden shelves and bamboo chairs. The iron mesh windows without glass kept the mosquitoes out and gave me a view of the surrounding garden. I didn’t need air conditioning or even a fan until April and May as the room was so airy. The toilets and showers were on the other side of the garden across the lawn, but I mostly took an Indian style shower with a bucket in the tiled corner area of my room where the tap was.
I was happy living like this in India and paid the rent all year so that I could come to Osho Resort for a few months a year every year. I saved the money for the rent by working as a teacher or a carer in England. It has always been very important to me to come and meditate in the place where Osho lived for so many years.
Last November while in England working in my job, I learned by telephone from my long time neighbour Dipam in Pune that our house was soon going to be pulled down and we had been given notice from the landlady to leave. What a shock! I was going to lose my beloved room which had been my home (I have no home in England) for so many happy years.
I had to make a decision. I had no money, no savings, apart from what I was earning in my agency work. What could I do? I had three choices – (1) find another room to rent in Koregaon Park, (2) decide that this was the end for me and leave Pune forever, or (3) have a try at the new residential program inside the resort.
I decided I could try the live-in program for one month, but I was worried that I would miss my old room, or perhaps living inside would not be right for me. However, Osho always tells us to take risks – so I applied for it for February.
I wanted to do some groups with Devageet as I have discovered that I love his work, so I applied for Multiversity Plus – the program that includes twelve days of groups. I was happy to find that the price of living in includes the entrance fee to the Resort; and the twelve days of groups are much cheaper than if I was paying for the groups separately.
Right up until the day before I arrived, I was dubious about it. I went back to my old room the first night as the house had not yet been pulled down – just to spend one more night there. Then the next day I made my way slowly to the Resort to register.
What a lovely surprise I got when I saw the room I had been allocated in the Resort. It was a room in Tilopa and it was absolutely beautiful and huge with a marble bathroom, a gigantic double bed, and large windows on two walls. Of course there was airconditioning which I have never had before, and a fridge and small kitchen area. I was told that all the rooms in the Resort have been renovated. My room was like a palace complared to what I have had before in Pune and even in the West. A friend said to me, “I bet you haven’t had a room like this for a long time.” I replied, “I have never had a room so lovely as this!” It was much more luxurious than any hotel I have ever stayed in.
That night I went to bed and experienced a kind of ecstasy, for not only was the room so luxurious, but the energy, being in the Resort, was wonderful. I felt as if I was lying there in meditation all night. This was a complete surprise to me, and such a bonus, as if I was getting double the amount of meditation in the twenty-four hours than I had had while living outside.
I soon discovered that my neighbours – a few old friends, but mostly new people, were just as thrilled with their rooms as I was. Everybody was so cheerful and friendly and I felt so safe there compared with being outside. It was so lovely to be able to get up for Dynamic in the early morning and come back late at night without walking along a dark street outside. I enjoyed the groups and participating in the daily meditations. Any anxieties I had had about staying inside the Resort completely dissolved. I realised what I had missed through staying outside before. Of course, that was an experience too, but I loved it so much more inside and felt so much more part of the place. In this program you do not have to be a worker – that is the beauty of it. I work very hard in England to earn money and so it is wonderful to come to Pune to rest and meditate and relax and slow down.
I like it that now everybody can stay inside the resort – worker or not. I can go away and earn the money in my country and come back whenever I like to meditate. The groups and the meditations are still happening just as they always were. Osho’s energy is still very much here – it is so strong. Everybody was saying they could feel Osho’s presence in the Resort very much.
Now, a few days ago, I have just come back from Pune yet again. I spent another month in July on this live-in program called ‘Resort Experience’. This time I did not choose to do groups. I wanted to concentrate on meditation. It was monsoon, but it only rained about once a day and the air was so fresh and cool and everywhere was green and beautiful. The sun came out regularly and I swam every day and went in the beautiful new sauna and large jacuzzi. I danced in Buddha Grove and attended yoga and swimming classes in the mornings. I sat in Chuang Tzu and meditated sometimes three times a day. It is so silent in there. I hope we will always have it for these silent meditations. It is a sacred place for me.
I went into the pyramid Auditorium for Osho’s meditations during the day and even helped to facilitate a few of them in my spare time. Best of all of course, I love the Evening Meeting and seeing Osho’s beautiful face on the screen every night and going deep into meditation with his words. I love wearing the maroon and white robes.
What touched me most of all this July, was that the Resort was so full – and full with so many, many new people. White Robe Evening Meeting was packed every night as was the Dynamic and Kundalini. The people coming now are real meditators – they come to meditate and do groups or work – that is what really impressed me. I talked to new people every day at meal times in Zorba and everyone I spoke to expressed how they love the place. Many people said how cheap it is to live in. This is a new opportunity for people.
Living inside, again in a very luxurious room like before, including all the meditations, morning classes, evening events, and free laundry cost me Rps 60,000 (€ 900) for a month – that is just Rps 2000 (€ 30) a day with accommodation and included entry gate pass (low season price). I would not get a hotel for that price outside. (It would have been only Rps 11,500 (€ 170) a month to live in during this season, if I had worked.) I had use of the swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium, jaccuzzi and tennis courts also for a very small additional fee of Rps 60 (€ -.90) a day.
Now I am back in London I have discovered that a one and a half hour yoga session in this city costs nearly half the price of a whole day in the Resort with all the classes, meditations etc! It is a priceless experience for me being able to meditate in Osho’s place in Pune.
I want to say to people out there, that if you come to Osho for meditation then you will still love Osho’s Resort in Pune and you will still feel Osho’s presence. It always has been a place where Osho works on us, to take us on a spiritual journey and to look inside ourselves. Osho has said so many times that he is only concerned with our meditation; nothing else matters except this. I heard Osho say to me inside myself, “I am only interested in your meditation.”
(And yes, Osho did suggest before he left the body that his place in Pune be called a Meditation Resort!) Osho always told us to choose the meditations that suit us best. I have had so many magical experiences during my meditations in Pune and I have felt Osho’s presence so strongly.
I am grateful that people are working so hard there keeping the place going. The changes there have brought many new people and a turnover of people, but everybody can still come, old and new, and now we have the added bonus of being able to live inside and spend our days meditating. I think sometimes people forget that Osho just wants us to meditate and go inside.
I feel sad that some people moan about the place and put off others from coming. This is tragic, I think. Let people come and experience for themselves. In this way they can find Osho or otherwise perhaps they will miss him forever. If some old sannyasins don’t want to come to Pune anymore, then there are so many other beautiful Osho centres around the world where they can meditate.
I, for myself still love coming to Pune. I can still feel Osho’s presence very strongly and I am thrilled to see so many new people there now meditating and enjoying living inside.
Love from Ma Anand Devika