Ma Prem Divya (aka Zulma Reino) recalls the years spent with Osho.
I met him in my dreams a long time before I met him in the flesh. He became a friend, an angel and a father all-in-one. He never disappointed me. I loved his mischievious looks that enlisted a kind of conspiracy.
He was always real, even in his affectation, the many poses he adopted in the many garments he loved to wear to shock people, or simply for amusement. He was a master psychologist and understood ordinary thought process. He used everything at his disposal to expose us to the absurdity of our identifications, pushing us forever deeper and more directly into the confrontation and eventual merger with the abyss.
His relationship with us was marked by a distinct uniqueness with each one. He could see right through us. He proved this time and again. He was there in our waking and our sleeping lives, he was present very personally. He was everywhere because we invited him there. We loved the contact with the danger he aroused and the beauty he inspired. It was a love affair with our own innermost self.
I was a member of that class of people who arose during the late sixties, the new age therapists. Joan Baez, Dylan Thomas, the Beatles, the consciousness of drugs and especially the neo-Reichian ocean of physical-emotional yearnings which once released seemed so intoxicating, these were all part of my identity… until I stepped into the quicksand of his influence, that is.
Even before I met him physically, I was seeing him in my dreams. He became something of a constant inner companion which I at first courted and then came to rely upon.
On my way to meeting him, I flew in an airplane together with nine other people, all from the Human Potential Movement. When I arrived at the apartment where he lived in Bombay, I entered as one of the first into a dark, cold room, empty save for one chair and a small table. I recall he spread his arms out and signalled me directly to sit to his right on the floor. Then he planted his foot on my lap. I began caressing it as if I had been doing that for ever and all my own doubts faded. But, I kept close attention to what he was saying. Each word, each sentence, each name that he gave to the newly arrived was perfect. My psychotherapeutic mind was totally and positively impressed.
He called me Prem Divya and said that this was my sadhana as well. I was to become that which was already within me. It was then when I first felt what it could be like to be Divine Love, because in that instant I loved him more than I ever thought possible, in unforseen and profound intimacy and also familiarity. I knew that I would always be loved by him.
Bhagwan’s ability to sniff out our games and protect us from ourselves was extraordinary. I hardly questioned him and felt completely understood by him. Even after I had left the commune thirteen years later. A pact was sealed for all eternity between us, one which would only grow deeper and be reaffirmed the last months of my life with him. He unveiled a universe of love, light and freedom, of perfect relations between cause and effect, of ultimate justice and truth that no one before or ever since would be able to offer.
It was the deepest and most important journey of my life that lasted twelve years. I was put through tasks that would shock most people, but I never thought him unfair. He always struck right at the centre of personality knots, at the heart of the matter. His comments, as his orders, were a permanent source of revelation. He consistently reminded me, directly or indirectly, of what had drawn me to him. It was not for the good times.
The particular illusion that we actually have a choice within that sticky maze-like mesh of interdependent egotistical desires that we weave through our desires, dominated our perception. He would encourage us to think that we actually had a choice. Presented with the possibility of total freedom we learned, through our own devices, that real freedom needs restraints, a kind of discipline nobody had taught us: the discipline which comes from love.
Accustomed to Bhagwan’s molley-cuddling me in Poona, when we moved to Oregon I had to learn submission and tolerance. It was time to grow roots and didn’t always like it. When I felt the time had come, I wrote the letter which would change my life again. I didn’t ask for his advice; I simply told him I was leaving. He answered simply, “You have my Blessings!” I knew that. I’ve always known that.
I told my friends that I would be gone only for three months but I knew that it would be forever. Friendships there went far beyond that which is normally developed in the outside world. It was a true fraternity. A bond was created, an inexorable link with persons who had seen you through all kinds of conditions and who still loved you. People with whom you had shared the Ideal of a better world, a kind of heaven on earth, and who had actually lived this… together.
People who saw and felt, intuited and worked for the same purpose. Nowhere else would I sense the kind of loving, unconditional intimacy that we shared. We couldn’t hide any part of ourselves, even if we tried! We stood naked, both literally and figuratively. We cried and laughed, celebrated and prayed together. We also died together, died to a world and value system which was superficial and ineffectual, and this is the most important ingredient in the oneness we share, the connection which would link us together for the rest of our lives.
In the Spring of 1985 I handed in my old-style oval shaped “mala”. This, however, was not the end. I was to face the psychological and psychic consequences for almost two years afterwards. I had to pick up the various pieces of myself that had been scrambled and connect those with new, unknown parts that had been born imperceptibly. I was also to face the sorrows and mistakes of the past and truly develop that which had been given to me – freedom and the opportunity to become a truly conscious and responsible human being. But this reconstruction phase which followed is another, very long chapter, in my story.
Prem Divya (aka Zulma Reyo) was born in the USA, grew up in Puerto Rico and was part of the human potential movement in the sixties and early seventies. She became a sannyasin in 1973 and lived 12 years in Poona and Rajneeshpuram. Her first book, Lord of the Full Moon, was published in 1980, and she has published a further 11 books (translated into several languages), her most recent being Inner Woman. Divya is a spiritual coach, author and lecturer, offering a variety of training groups. She lives in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. www.zulmareyo.com; www.lamujerinterior.es