Mother and Daughters


Madhuri and Sarita celebrate their mother’s birthday with poems dedicated to her.

Devadasi Madhuri Sarita

Devadasi’s 96th Birthday

Madhuri writes: December has, for us, three birthdays close together; the Sannyas birthday of my mother Devadasi and mine too; on the 9th. Then Osho’s birthday on the 11th; and on the 15, the body birthday of Devadasi.

This year she turned 96…and we are amazed and thrilled and thought it would be nice to celebrate this a bit with the Sannyas community.

We continue to take her on all sorts of travels – France last year, Vancouver coming up – so many journeys. She is quite healthy, except for a few glitches…and as her memory gets more and more holes in it her peace is increasing! She lives in a house in Lake Arrowhead, in the mountains of California. Our brother Huck lives there too, and brothers Ian and Kevin and Alan often visit.

Devadasi grew up in the woods of Northern California. Her father was a doctor and homeopath, her mother a nurse. She attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a degree in English. She wrote and published many short stories and a book during her long and lonely marriage to our father Glen, a scientist, who died in 1993. After she left him, in her 50’s, she took sannyas and then married twice more. Her third husband died a few years ago.

She looks tiny and frail – much too tiny to have given birth to seven children – and when I see her with her many many descendants around her I marvel at what nature can accomplish. When I found out she is a Manifestor in Human Design, I stopped worrying about her very much…. I knew she is so very strong, an unstoppable force! Her birth name is Virginia, which she never liked; and the name Osho gave her also worried her since it seemed a little too much the opposite of Virginia!

Osho told her she would come to love it.

She loves reading, writing poetry, and hiking; she walks every day. When we were in France last year she hiked for two hours in a very determined fashion – nearly every day.

I would like to include my own poem about her, written some years ago.

Devadasi in the woods

A Summer Day in Northern California, 1919

Poem by Madhuri, January 2010

Two-year-old Virginia is missing
Her parents look throughout the tidy
Wooden house
Where yellow curtains glow
They go outside and peer
In the shady woods
Where a brook chuckles a sudden secret
And small shy forest mammals
Are gone to earth
Among the violets like watching eyes
And the bluewild brush
Smells of elephants and candour.
Mama and Papa seek amidst the shadows
Virginia’s soft fine hair of redwood
And foxes;
And then they process to the sunspread garden.

And there finally they find her
Stumping amongst the scented
Cherry tomato vines:
In her left hand the salt shaker
In her right a hot bauble
Ready to be shaken on and munched.

This is how I see my mother
Underneath where people later tried
To comb her out and weave her
Into their own design:
She is a non-consulting seeker
Ready to go outside.
She is an arrow born whistling
And what she knows or doesn’t know
Is barely in it. Politesse is helpful only
To keep the world from finding
That her soul
Is a wolf in celebration
A silent watcher with eyes
Owl-glaring. A clean, honed gem
Just some people can discover.

I don’t have to worry about my mother
She shakes her salt
She sits on a sun-warmed stone
She flies the route she’s finding as she flies it
She eats tomatoes
Like a noseful of lilies
Virgin as her shins of padded bone:
This baby-ancient, innocent as berries
Hanging where the light is cupped leaf-under
And shines for them alone.


I Celebrate You

Sarita writes: While many people celebrate the birth of Christ, I am in a mood to celebrate my mother. She turned 96 on 15th December. This is a poem I wrote to her:

You, who have the courage of a lioness
In a frail old woman’s body
You are the Mother Goddess protectress
Who has guided my way
directly into the heart of love

You stood up against
All that couldn’t dance
To the rhythms of life
Revealing to me that
The one most important direction
Is the soul of creativity

When I wash your feet
And anoint them with healing salve
I know that even death cannot remove
The blessedness of your presence
In the inner sanctum of my soul

When you speak with reverence
Of the miracles in nature
And walk for miles on gnarled feet
To see more beauty
I drink your wisdom
Of loving life to it’s ultimate climax

I see your face, ever laughing
Overflowing with humour about this transient life
For this you are granted eternal grace
as you play like a young girl in God’s garden
Delighting in each small flower
And each vivid butterfly that catches your eye

Thank you dearest Mother
For being
The one who gave me birth
Thank you for giving me these eyes, these lips and this voice
To see you, to praise and to celebrate you.

Devadasi at 18 years old

A Mother Laments

Poem by Devadasi (Virginia Akin), California, long ago (70’s)

What have you done with your eyes?
My children what have you done with
Your eyes?

What have you done with
Your hair
Hash pipes
Children, what have you done?

Your eyes have been painted
By a commercial artist
Who did not bother to fill in
The water
And deepnesses of fucked-in woods

You have traded your decorations
And who knows what else
For Penney mannequins
Children what

Madhuri and Sarita dancing in street

MadhuriMadhuri is a regular contributor

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