Naina recalls: Year – 2003, Month – July, Occasion – Guru Purnima, Place – Oshodham, New Delhi…
Buddha Hall was vibrating, people in maroon robes dancing and swaying to the beautiful beats of music, although loud yet somewhat quite soothing. A kind of music not really falling into the ears but touching the heart. I was nervous. Had filled up a form the previous evening wanting to be initiated into sannyas…
Back to 1997, while in college in Guwahati (Assam), one night I had a very unusual dream:
“Five people with guns barge into my hostel and kidnap me to an unknown place. The kidnappers are in monkish yellow garb and ride horses. In the wee hours of the morning I find myself in a beautiful valley dotted with small white cottages and little gardens of flowers. Of the five men, I am suddenly attracted to one, a handsome guy, clean shaven. I look into his eyes and find them full of kindness. These people look so sophisticated in their language and composure, yet the question is how can they be kidnappers? Once I had rested in one of the cottages, one lady takes me out to the open and all I can see are those five men standing near a figure dressed in white who had already started to move towards a temple on a hilltop. The figure in white had his back towards me and was gleaming against the setting sun. I cannot see his face but only his back and a little of his long beard blown backwards by the evening breeze. I keep staring but he never looks back and vanishes from my sight. Then I look at the others and again am pulled so much towards this one attractive guy. Imagine my woe, when I see that each person there is a monk. Why and how could such beautiful people be monks? They should be in the world.
After an early dinner I am taken to another hall and what a joy to find that the hall is a library and contains all the books of the world. I love books since my childhood. So these people are highly educated too, huh? But what am I doing here, why did they bring me here, when can I go back home, was the only questions I had in my mind. Down a year or so, I am getting uncomfortable with my loud thoughts in that silent space that I may never see my family again yet I am so much in love with all the books, the people around who never speak a word and this particular guy. Very contrary to what I thought, these people are so kind to me, yet something is not right in the sense how things should be as per societal norms. Gradually I am at ease and in love with that place and the people and finally I see myself living together with this guy before I am forced by the army to leave that place and return with them to my family.”
I woke up with a bucketful of tears the next morning. The dream remains with me although I think it maybe was too much of James Hilton (Lost Horizon).
Back to reality. After graduation, I was supposed to join Osmania University in Hyderabad but my father declined and only permitted me to go for higher studies in Delhi. Absolutely clueless what my subjects would be, I was somehow attracted to journalism. My ambition was to be a journalist and change the world. One of my friends brought me a newspaper and told me to fill in a form for an entrance into Mass Communication but the deadline was quite close, within a week. I thought let’s try and see if I have any luck with this although I wasn’t hopeful because of the deadline. The Indian Institute of Mass Communication is the premier institute in India, managed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Total seats – 40. Total applications – 5 lakh [500,000].
After a fortnight, I received a letter along with a date, again a week ahead, for a written entrance test in Delhi. Now how to manage the train tickets? My brother and I rushed to a travel agent who did not look like a typical one, spoke very little but gave us 2 tickets. He had a beard and behind his chair was a shelf containing some books on travel and one guru – Osho or Oshin, never mind. We were in a hurry and soon my entrance test was over, interviews done and there I was, having enrolled at the Institute.
After a couple of years I joined a media organization, yet something was missing in life. I changed jobs, made new friends but nothing was satisfactory. I was looking for something, not knowing that something and couldn’t find it until one day a dear lady asked me to go and meet Swami Atul Anand of Osho World. In the past I had heard a couple of times my father – who was posted in one of the remotest parts of India, Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh) and had subscribed to Illustrated Weekly – mention Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his ashram in Pune. Next I heard him mention Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh when He had left the body but I did not know that Bhagwan Shree is Osho.
By this time Delhi was wearing me out, I felt like a stranger in a strange city. Delhi is a tough city for single girls and more so for those who migrate from other cities with no immediate family support close-by. Each step was like an acid test, security none, neither in office or at rented homes. Finally a moment had come when I decided to return back home and work in Assam. As I was packing my bags, a letter arrived from Star News (now ABP News) for an interview, interesting enough to hold me back in Delhi for a few more days. Again as time passed, it became obvious that I could not survive in this city. It was then I followed that lady’s advice and visited Osho World to give it a final try before giving up and to see if I could endure another couple of years in Delhi.
As I entered the office I felt somewhat strange because I was not sure why I had come but the environment of the office was such that it put me into a cool space within. A very silent office yet waves of happiness around. When I met Swami Atul, I knew it was THE MOMENT (those kind eyes, humble, sophisticated language and very educated).
Although I wasn’t even sure what my work responsibilities would be, there was a strong pull to become a part of this. The mind longed for something else but I must say the heart proved stronger that time. So I decided on the spot that I would do whatever work was given to me. After a month as I sat working on my computer, I was called by Swami Atul and introduced to Swami Sakshi with whom I was to work on the videos of Osho. I was in a yellow outfit and so was he – THE MOMENT. (… and for the last 11 years Sakshi and I are together, deeply in love and in silence).
The final thunderbolt occurred a couple of months later. One evening I was at the Osho Rajyoga Centre (had started Kundalini meditation a few months back together with my office colleagues) when I was asked if I would like to meet Swamiji. Yes! Swami Om Prakash Saraswati was lying on his bed, between white sheets, in a white robe, a face with a white beard. As I entered, the gleam of white hit my eyes, it was an ethereal experience. Swamiji looked so delicate that I felt if I were to touch him, he would just dissolve, more so I felt he was a white cloud and I could never touch him. I touched his feet and Swamiji asked me to come to him. I put my head on his chest and felt his soft hands on my head. He asked me to stand a little further away and again called me to him, not once but thrice. His touch, his blessings – THE ULTIMATE MOMENT – the figure in white – I had found my home.
Swami Om Prakash Saraswati left his body two months later. I felt I would regret the fact that I was not fortunate enough to have spent a longer time with Swamiji, but Osho’s words helped me understand that it is not time and space that matters, what matters is the heart connection. I very much wished to take sannyas from Swamiji but as soon as he left his body, I felt I could not delay it any longer.
Next, Guru Purnima Day and there I sat with tears and laughter along with many others to experience a new birth. Nervous I was, but there was no fear, only a strange feeling of silence and contentment never experienced before. Except for the colour, not yellow but maroon, the rest déjà vu!
Swamiji’s leaving the body in March 2003 was a great inner experience for me. I had never ever attended a funeral or death ceremony before and was always uncomfortable with the very thought. Yet when I filmed the entire celebration of Swamiji, from the centre to the burning ghats and then the celebration at Oshodham, I never ever felt one moment of uneasiness. Swamiji has shown me that death can be so beautiful. Somehow I feel Swamiji is always near me, sometimes laughing, sometimes guiding, sometimes just in a silent communion. When my own father passed away, I was amazed at myself how much I could comfort my mother and brother. That power, I trust, came from beyond which still feels like a miracle. Can a master be so compassionate to give a glimpse of what is to come, help understand life and death and hold your hands in unforeseeable times?
I have often heard from so many people about Osho’s grace. One beautiful and famous Odissi danseuse, an ardent Osho reader and lover, traveled to Germany during one of the festivals but she could not find a hotel room. All hotels were booked and she somehow managed to reach the venue of the show, wondering where she would be able to stay. At the venue she met an unknown woman who started to speak with her. As soon as our friend shared that she had no place to stay, the woman immediately offered her a room at her home. When they reached what was actually a palatial mansion, the main door opened and facing the door stood a huge bust in white marble. That face looked familiar and she was told this is the bust of Osho and that the woman is an Osho sannyasin.
Another sannyasin family from the US was on a trip to India with their two children and wanted to visit Nepal also. They went to Kathmandu and continued on to another small town. Before they could return a big riot broke out and all hotels were closed down. One young Nepali man offered to help and escorted them out of the town in the middle of the night; they were quite unsure where they would end up. In the wee hours of the morning they were dropped off in a small rustic setting, the driver of the car and the young man regretfully telling them that they couldn’t go any further. The family approached a cottage by the roadside and knocked on the door. Although it was quite early and still dark, a gentleman opened the door and before they could speak their eyes fell on the locket he was wearing. In that dim weak light Osho’s face sparkled from the locket.
That’s the master, Osho, showering his blessings, sometimes in very unexpected situations and places.
I myself had a morbid fear of flying, so much so that I usually popped pills to control my nerves before getting inside the plane, still never at ease; a little turbulence and I used to freak out, clutching the armrests so tightly until my palms began to scream out in pain. Once I shared this fear with Ma Dharm Jyoti and she told me to accept and leave everything to him and keep his mala with me while traveling. I tried it on my next trip and since then I am traveling with his mala everywhere. Now I feel no fear, no anxiety, and no pills, I just remember him and take a sound nap.
When and where my idea of changing the world had dropped I don’t remember, all I can say now is that the focus is on changing myself…
Thank you, Swamiji, for your compassion.
Bowing in gratitude to Osho, for guiding me on my journey this far and for the rest – I leave it at your lotus feet.