Suha ponders joyfully over her years of work after having officially retired.
Yes, who is talking about retirement? Work was in our blood and bones and it was our joy working together. My beloved Yoga Teertha and I never retired. We indeed retired from official work, with official pensions, but continued doing, at least in our most recent years, what we loved the most: translations, both written and simultaneous.
When Teertha retired from the Indian Railways in 1988, at age 58, he started to work in the Dispatch Department of the Pune Commune and remained there for 10 years. I took early retirement in 1991, at age 52, from being a trilingual executive secretary in international organizations in Milan, Brussels and Paris, and moved to Pune. I had this fervent dream to become a graphic designer and was lucky that the Osho Commune offered me the opportunity to learn this job. I worked as a designer for seven years, first for the English and then for the Italian Osho Times magazines.
After Teertha and I stopped working in the Pune Commune in 1998, we were sometimes asked to translate articles, from home, for the Italian Osho Times, from Hindi to Italian namely from the Smarika magazine many Indian sannyasins will remember.
For four years we participated in Hindi meditations camps at the MTDC Resort in Karla, near Lonavala, conducted by Akhil Saraswati and Divya, We always had a group of about eight Italian friends in tow who did not speak English, or Hindi of course. And this is how we solved it: Teertha simultaneously translated from Hindi whispering the sentences into my ear in English, and I immediately translated into Italian. It was such a no-mind situation that surprised everybody, including us! We enjoyed it immensely, and others were benefitted. This ended in 2008 when Teertha got sick and our Italian friends stopped coming.
During these intensive meditations camps, before going into the samadhi meditation, we were invited to dance at the rhythm of what we came to know as shabads or ‘songs of Enlightenment’ selected from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sacred Book and Master of the Sikh. Sutras of mystics from different traditions like Kabir, Guru Nanak, Guru Arjun Dev, Guru Ram Das etc. are put into music and sung, only by men, accompanied on tabla following specific raga rhythms. All these songs are in praise of omkar [see Osho quote below] that all these mystics have known.
We translated 57 of these shabads into Italian for our joy and the joy of our Italian friends who came to meditate with us. I am proud to say that also the translations became pure poetry. I still listen to these songs on CD in their original language, Gurmukhi, and am glad to be able to follow their simple and profound meaning. I also translated into Italian excerpts from Osho’s discourses about meditation for my friends, but that was also helpful for me to get a deeper understanding of his vision.
When friends came from Italy and stayed with us, our house quickly transformed itself into a small commune. I also enjoyed preparing the compilation ‘The mysteries of the seven bodies and the seven chakras’. I collected excerpts from many books, in over 200 hand-written pages, what Osho says about each body and each chakra. It was thoroughly appreciated by Teertha who read them again and again, to my great joy.
After Teertha had passed away, I started writing articles and still continue translating when asked. I put together another compilation from The Books I Have Loved and started buying the books Osho talks about, in the languages in which they were available. In my working days I did not have much time to read and felt quite uneducated, so wanted to catch up with the best quality books, the books Osho has recommended. Slowly slowly I am reading one after the other, or even two at the same time.
Since 2013 I am being trained as a Sound Healer by master Satya Brat of the International Academy of Sound Healing in India. It uses Tibetan singing bowls and I am already sharing this therapy with family and friends. And since April this year I am writing a column for the monthly Italian Osho Times magazine with the title “Attenzione si scivola…. Terreno sacro – piccoli flash di vita vissuta” (Beware slippery…. Sacred ground – short flashes of real life).
I am now 76, of the age when other women have long since become grandmothers. Because at a very young age I had decided not to have children, I am now feeling the need to be surrounded by small children and to take care of them. What I am doing now is: three times a week I go to the Sassoon Hospital in Pune as a volunteer to help out in the newborn, abandoned babies orphanage. It is my meditation, and the love I get back from these children is nothing compared to what I am giving them. A win-win situation.
I am not ready to stop – as long as I am in this body.
Text by Suha
More articles and poems by this author in Osho News
Suha’s Profile on Osho News
Zen Brush Strokes – Suha talks about her life
Meaning of Omkar
[…] samadhi is the balance between speech and silence. It is just the exact middle, where silence and speech meet, where silence and sound meet. That exact middle is beyond both. It is neither just silence, empty of noise, nor is it just speech, full of chattering and noise. It is beyond both. It is a silence with a song, but the song is soundless. It is a silence with music, but a music which is not produced on any instruments, a music which is simply your very nature.
The ancient seers of this land have called it OMKAR, the sound of OM … not that you repeat OM, OM, you simply hear it. You are utterly silent, surrounded with a sound which is similar to om. That’s why om has not been made a part of the Sanskrit alphabet. It is not a word; it is a symbol. Perhaps that is the only alphabet in the world which has a symbol in it which is not part of the alphabet.
Osho, Bodhidharma: The Greatest Ze Master, Ch 12 (excerpt)