The Castle Diary

Remembering Here&Now

Jayapal recalls the time when Osho was staying at ‘the castle’, Chidvilas.

Called into Sheela’s office in Pune. She said “I will tell you something that you can’t share with anyone.” I said I share everything with my best friend and lover. She said ok, she can know as well. You will both go to a castle in New Jersey to prepare for Bhagwan’s, ooops Osho’s coming to America.

Shock and awe! Going back to my hometown (New York, 20 minutes from the castle). I will get a haircut at my own local Greenwich Village barber shop. Go to some of my favourite watering holes. I was dreaming!

Flew to New York, stayed a night in the Palace Hotel using my credit card. I recall eating strawberries for breakfast that were larger than Pune apples. I was back in the “first” world! Got interviewed by “Institutional Investor” magazine in my hotel room. (How did they find me?).

Reality hits. Jayananda picks me up in New York in an old, beat up car and takes me to the castle. My job is to find land for the new commune. I call upon old Wall Street contacts and come up with places in New Mexico and Missouri. Also come upon an old policeman’s rest home in the mountains surrounding Woodstock, New York. Jayananda, Sheela and I take a limo through the snow to see the site. It would be ready to move in immediately but no land for farming. Vetoed.

Sheela’s brother offers a place in the high desert of Oregon. She snaps it up so my job is over. Next I become a 1) chauffeur for Laxmi and 2) a chauffeur for Gayan and Vivek as we go to New York almost every day to buy fabrics, sunglasses, hats for you know who.

Osho’s arrival. It was beyond belief that he could be here in my backyard. We had worked so hard to prepare for his landing. We considered a white Cadillac limo to fetch him from the airport but felt that would be too showy so we used a black Caddie. The night before his arrival I was vacuuming the car aiming for pristine. I thought I was going to have the gig driving him from the airport but Jayananda preempted me. He was married to Sheela.

Osho arrives and we are sitting totally blissed out as he comes out Namaste-ing and looking as if he had just driven from Lao-Tzu house to Buddha hall. Beautiful. We had installed a mini-lift to get him up the castle stairs but he ignored them and trotted up into the building after a brief satsang.

Osho Chidvilas

Shopping for Osho was a hoot. We’d go down Fifth Ave or Madison Ave stopping at each elegant eyeglass shop to buy the most expensive glasses possible (Carrera 14k gold frames, etc); when Vivek showed them to B he rejected all of them. Another trip to return each pair. Ordered faux fur hats for B but, when they weren’t ready for his trip to Oregon he approved our buying real fur hats, so we did. Mink, ermine, rabbit!

Went with Devaraj (now Amrito) and Puja into the city with two missions. First stopped at a diabetes clinic so that Puja could pick up some useful information for treating Osho. Second, I had arranged a meeting with an old line patent law firm. We arrived at the law firm with Raj sporting an ugly red sports jacket with sleeves way too short. We sat in a conference room with a partner and two associates. Raj then went into his rap about the value of bum washers which he was hoping to patent in the United States. This idea was greeted by the lawyers with polite disinterest.

Then Raj surprised me and appalled the attorneys by taking out of the pocket of the red jacket something covered in talcum powder, which looked like a female diaphragm attached to a condom… which in fact was exactly what it was. It was his pitch that this would be the next generation of female contraception. The meeting then ended abruptly – much to my embarrassment.

As we were on a short leash and were expected back at the castle when our chores were complete we needed to call with some excuse so we could visit the flight attendants who were on the plane that brought Osho to America. This turned into a wild, all night party scene.

Laxmi got into her head that she could ingratiate herself with Osho by buying him yet another very expensive watch. Mind you Sheela was “in” and Laxmi was “out” by the time we arrived at the castle. The competition was on! Somehow Laxmi had squeezed financial commitments out of a few wealthy sannyasins to pay for this bauble. Off we go to Madison Avenue. Laxmi had on her wrist a very expensive Patek Philippe watch to show to jewelers that we were affluent and meant business. Being in New York with a $20k watch on her wrist was a magnet for some clever low life so we made sure her sleeves covered the watch until we were in a shop.

We found a jeweler who had just what Laxmi wanted. All kinds of Rolex time pieces – some gold, some platinum, some with diamonds and sapphires surrounding the face, all for $30k or more. So Laxmi says to the store owner we would like to take a few of these watches back to New Jersey to show to the client. The obvious response was that if the client wished to see the watches he must come into the city. After heated negotiation the owner allowed us to take the watches, along with an armed guard from the store, back to the castle. So driving through Friday rush hour traffic with a very uncomfortable guy riding shotgun, off we go to New Jersey; and to make things even more bizarre, Laxmi insisted we play the famous Osho ”fuck tape” for our unsuspecting pistol packing friend. When we got to the castle Laxmi grabbed the watches and ran upstairs while the armed guard looked on totally out of control. The bottom line, as Laxmi told it, Osho asked which was the most expensive and ended up with platinum surrounded by diamonds. And then we were off to New York to complete the transaction.

Somehow I got the job of bringing limousines up to the castle for Osho to inspect. Until the Rolls limo arrived from Pune the idea was to buy an interim stretch limo. I contacted limo services to bring up Cadillac and Lincolns for Osho to look at and test ride. I had to tell the services that the driver must wear no scented after shave lotion, must not smell of cigarettes, etc. Now most of these drivers were tough, New York Italian guys and were puzzled by this strange request. And then when Osho walked down in his Little Prince outfits with his flowing beard and started asking the drivers questions “how long is this car, how fast does it go” they were quite nonplussed. To hear him speak to these drivers in his sweet, innocent sounding voice was really something to see. And he made sure to tell them all that he had a Rolls limo coming from India.

Those are just a few of the memorable events that occurred while at the castle. It was such a rich, wonderful and intimate time to be around the master and somehow I ended up with this magical gift.

Related video Osho in Chidvilas

JayanandaBorn in 1938 in New York, Deva Jayapal was a high level arbitrageur on Wall Street looking for a different perspective in life when he read the first pages of Osho’s ‘Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy’. He took sannyas in Pune in 1977 and worked in the mala shop, ran the stationery department and was a cashier in Vrindavan. In Rajneeshpuram, he was primarily a machine operator and truck driver. Nowadays he works as a financial adviser and lives with his beloved Crystal in Marin, USA.

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