Krishna Prem’s insights on aloneness, loneliness and death.
I am an old friend of death. My birth mother left her body when I was one year old and left me with my 15-year-old sister-mother, who left her body and left me with Osho, who also left his body. Death does not surprise me. Death has a look. Osho had that look. What surprises me is living. I can handle death, but I am still mangled by life.
Aloneness rocks my world.
I am not “righting” about the word “aloneness” or even aloneness’s twin brother loneliness. Like most old sannyasins, I can quote Osho from both sides now. I am enlightened…most of the time. The only reason I am not leading satsangs at Starbucks today is because when aloneness speaks to me I shake from my core and I can’t drink coffee without spilling my guts out.
Shit, it’s easy for Osho to say “Never born, Never died”… but where does that leave me while I am here?
Many of my female friends filled up their space of aloneness when Osho left his body by getting pregnant. I know several kids with the name India, even an Osho. Many of my male friends went back into the marketplace. Think about it: What do you fill yourself up with when you feel emptiness: Food, sex, drugs, another living master? We are born alone, we die alone, and in the middle we stuff ourselves. At least I do. I filled myself in a relationship with a woman.
And for 17 years I had a great partner who saved me from being alone. Her name is Jwala. “Jwala” means fire. We had an open relationship, and she left me for a younger version of me. I experienced death one more time. I know what you are thinking: Open relationships don’t work. But how many closed marriages work for 17 years? […]
At the very same time my beloved niece Risa got big-time cancer. Risa thinks of me as her brother, since when she was born I had already been adopted by her mother, who was actually my sister.
Jwala leaving me was like an espresso, and Risa getting the big C was like adding two lumps of sugar – the combination was lethal. I fell apart. My body got old in a moment, my head felt chopped off, my heart burst, and I felt like I got kicked in the belly. I remember Osho once saying in discourse something like: First I cut off your head, then I rip out your heart, and then I kick you in the belly, and finally you remember who you are… Please don’t quote me on this, as it may not be Osho’s exact words, but now that I am having this experience I am pretty sure I know what he means.
I was alone again. In reality, I was lonely. All that I loved was in the past. Even on a rainy day, I wore sunglasses. The smile on my face was created by the fear that you would not love me if you knew my pain. I sang to myself, paraphrasing Janis Joplin, “Aloneness is just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Sixty-eight years on this planet, 39 years with Osho, 17 years with Jwala… I know what Osho means when he asks his infamous question, “Sannyas or suicide?”
But before you write me off as a poor excuse for a human being, think again. I popped out the other side, I got it! I am home alone naturally.
How did I do it? I really can’t explain myself, at least not in a way that would make sense. Sometimes life just happens.
I think it had something to do with me finally accepting that I am alone. That Osho, my family, Jwala, were never me in the first or last place…just dramas. Drama for me is when I am so involved in my own story that I think it’s true. I lose my sense of self. And the cosmic joke is when I begin to laugh at my own drama.
I always felt that Osho was hinting that it was a great idea for Krishna Prem to have his head on his shoulders and a bad idea when Krishna Prem has his head on Osho’s shoulder. Simply said, I became the center of my cyclone.
Jwala and I are still best friends. When we lie together and cry, I always peek out and whisper in her ear, “I don’t want us back.” Right now is the right time for me to accept my aloneness.
Whenever you feel death close by, go into it through the door of love, through the door of meditation, through the door of a man dying. And if some day you are dying – and the day is going to come one day – receive it in joy, benediction. And if you can receive death in joy and benediction, you will attain to the greatest peak, because death is the crescendo of life. Hidden in it is the greatest orgasm, because hidden in it is the greatest freedom.”
Osho, The Heart Sutra, Ch 2, Q 3
First published in Viha Connection Magazine – oshoviha.org/magazine
Krishna Prem (aka KP) grew up in the USA where he graduated from Boston University. He came to Mumbai in 1973 at the tender age of 29 where he met Osho and took sannyas. He was part of all the communes founded by Osho and is a steady visitor of the Meditation Resort in Pune. Krishna Prem is the author of the book, Gee You Are You, The Book. geeyouareyou.com
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