…left his body on 23rd July 2013
(September 10, 1948 – July 23, 2013)
Vardo left his body in Kula, Maui (Hawaii) at home with his beloved Kali and their two daughters, Tessa and Zena, present with him.
Kali is preparing a celebration of his life on or around his birthday 20th September.
Group photo of Chidvilas RMC, 1981 (credit Deva Suzanne) with Veneeta, Madukar, Shunyo (Dr.) Prabha, Sugandha, Pritam, Vardo far right with curly hair
For Vardo – a tribute by Allen
Our story goes back a long time
At least 40 years in this lifetime.
He always had such an appreciation of art,
How we humans express our feelings in art and music,
Life as art.
In Kali, his own keen sense of order and beauty found expression.
She is form and everything in their surroundings
was an opportunity for her wild unbridled creativity.
Arriving and going in to see him
My heart sank with the sad realization
that his time remaining was short.
We talked slowly, immediately into the depths of what was real,
His feelings about his death
And leaving Kali and the girls with things unfinished, unfinishable.
I told him “You gave Kali a most amazing life
total support for her to be,
to explore ‘woman’ in all its totality.
For her, life is art.”
“Could you tell her that?” he asked me.
Kali and I helped him walk slowly up the path to his beloved yurt
For what would be his last walk.
There was a book a neighbor had given him, Graceful Exits
About various roshis, rinpoches and saints in their dying moments.
Kali said he had been looking at it.
In the morning while we were helping him with a bath
And then him wanting to lie on a sheepskin on the floor of the semi-outdoor bathroom
The sun streaming in
A gentle warm breeze
And the birds, the incredible birds
His breathing soft, but steady
Drifing in and out of sleep.
At one point he said “All those guys – Nisargadatta – their deaths…
My death is going to be very ordinary.”
Tessa and Zena came home,
More tears, and then set about helping to do
What needed to be done
With a grace far beyond their years.
“If I live another day or a month – it doesn’t seem as if it matters.”
Time seemed to have left the surroundings,
The breathing slowing,
Kali, Tessa and Zena lying beside him
Or cuddled together on the futon on the floor at the foot of the bed.
The love in the room so palpable
The support for letting go of the body so unconditional
The stillness, the birds, the fragrant breeze.
So in life – death would wait
A final purge with ear plugs on Vardo
The vacuum cleaner sucking out the last dust
A few more boxes carried out of the yurt in a flurry of final activity.
Kali shifting the space as only a woman can
One more time to another level of attunement.
They picked baskets of plumeria flowers
Hours of sitting near him threading leis
That would be strung across the room.
His body thin, naked
Slowly dissolving before our eyes.
Nothing to hide. No shame.
Taking leave of this reality just as he came in
Naked, vulnerable and precious.
Looking in on him before I left:
Kali, Tessa and Zena lying nestled in each other on the futon
Cherishing this time together
In complete patience
His breathing slower
The stillness and love
The birds, the soft breeze and muted light
In death too, there is art.
(thanks to Viha Connection)
Thank you, Allen, for sharing Vardo’s Going Home so beautifully. I am touched and grateful having Kali and Vardo in Osho’s Sangha. Love,
Seeing that mop of curly hair and that wide smile brought back many memories. We first met in Poona 1 when we worked together as handymen in a section of Vipassana Godown. Then later, on the Ranch, we shared a laugh or three….Such warmth. Travel well, old friend.