Voyages — 08 October 2015

…left his body 6th October 2007 – a tribute by Vandana.


Born in Perth, Western Australia, 8th December 1950
Took sannyas in 1977
Departed from Beijing, China, 6th October 2007




I first met Gayaka in 1978 when we played Malvolio and Olivia in the Pune 1 Theatre Group’s production of Twelfth Night. During performances it took great effort to not explode laughing when, with wild-eyed enthusiasm he extended his yellow stockinged, cross- gartered leg for my attention.

We next met in 1982 in Los Angeles. A group of us rented a house in the Hollywood hills which had once belonged to the Monkees and which became a commune for sannyasins travelling up and down to Rajneeshpuram.

During this phase, Gayaka met Meeta: their turbulent relationship lasted several years, despite his lifelong preference for same-sex alliances, and they spent time together at the Ranch.

In Pune 2, Guy directed a memorable production of Midsummer Night’s Dream with Maneesha playing Titania.

I next met him in 1992 in Perth. His beloved mother developed Parkinson’s disease and he nursed her in his one-room apartment till she died. In the late 1990’s, Guy worked as a volunteer English teacher for refugee Tibetan children at a Dharamsala school.

In 1999, he fell in love with 18-year-old Vajra in Sri Lanka, whose family disowned him for taking up with the wild Australian.

Gayaka spent his last resources supporting his beloved while trying to gain him Australian residency, so returned to Perth in 2005 and spent a year doing charity work in a homeless shelter and much time in solitary reflection. He met Amma, the hugging saint, and decided to work for her ashram.

Guy frequently expressed willingness to die sooner rather than later and when he left for India in October 2006 I felt I would not see him again.

Amma’s ashram, full of ‘repressed silent virgins with averted eyes’, was definitely not his cup of tea, though while there he began writing a book on the absurdity of seeking!

Early in 2007, he found work teaching English in northern China and soon found a better position at a Beijing university.

Gayaka never made a secret of his lively sexuality. He began Internet dating, reporting that Chinese men loved him, ‘They’ve never seen a queen in all her majesty!’

In September 2007 he e-mailed that he was bored with sex and ‘Beijing’s forcing me to meditate.’

On 6th October Gayaka had a sudden heart attack. He called a fellow teacher for help but, by the time paramedics arrived, had a second heart attack and his body was beyond resuscitation.

I loved Gayaka. He was the greatest man friend of my life and I am deeply touched by his death. He never gave out judgement or expectation, only generosity, kindness, profound enquiry and laughter at everything — particularly himself.

Previously published in Viha Connection –