Roshani reviews Deva Peter Haykus’ book; “Appealing to the Eye and Easily Devoured!”
More than 30 years after Rajneeshpuram, I am still occasionally invited to talk to groups in Oregon about it. And still one of the first questions asked has to do with “all those Rolls-Royces.” Peter’s book tells the tale of the long, winding road that brought him to Osho and weaves the story of those very cars, their design, and their impact on the Western media.
This book takes us through Peter’s life story, which begins in inner-city Chicago. He describes himself as a troublemaker, a rebel who was never reprimanded, not unlike Osho. His spiritual journey began with mushrooms and acid and went on to include welding alongside intense yogic practice, mantras, ashram hopping, breatharianism, marriage, financial success, disillusionment, and a life-altering rebirthing experience. Through this preparation, the ground of his being was ripe for Osho, Geetam, and, through a series of minor miracles, Pune and an invitation to the Ranch, where his welding skills were needed.
Peter’s confrontations with Sheela and her cohorts began almost immediately and frequently recur. Even so, at a certain point, Osho asks that Peter be the mechanic for his speedboat on Patanjali Lake. From that time, it seems that Peter and Osho have a most extraordinary friendship. They are often like two mischievous rebels, just hanging out. Next thing you know, it is the winter of 1982, and they are looking at color chips for the cars.
Peter relates the many learnings he has as the result of painting some of the 11 cars that were to have designs: the single-pointed focus of the detailed painting; how he does not “do” the painting, but rather “it happens” through him; the state of meditation and aware consciousness that arises; the importance of being at ease with imperfection; how the whole experience is the embodiment of “work as meditation.”
At every turn, Peter trusts his fearlessness, his intuition, and a sense of being in tune with Osho and with the direction in which his own life is guided to flow.
The last part of the book describes his going to Dallas to work on the cars after the Ranch closed down. It also contains two appendices. One is devoted to Osho’s words or the source of his or Peter’s suggestions for the designs of several individual cars.The other describes how those Rolls-Royces became one of the most successful, instant PR events ever. A photo of a mere 19 of the lined-up cars went viral through newsprint and television even before the advent of the Internet, making the Ranch and Osho known throughout the world.
Peter’s book is a wonderful read, to say nothing about the dozens of amazing photos.There are many pictures of the beautifully customized cars, but also of Peter, Geetam, Pune One, the Ranch, and of Osho. It would be worth the purchase for either the words or the photos alone. But together – well, it is just plain delicious as a book, so appealing to the eye and easily devoured!
Review by Roshani
Available to order via Peter – phaykus at outlook.com
Born in 1945, Deva Peter was raised in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He trained and worked as a professional auto mechanic, welder, boat builder and custom car painter. He took sannyas in Poona, in February 1981 and was invited to the Ranch that year. Osho’s Rolls-Royces were the most extraordinary custom paint jobs Peter completed. He currently enjoys retired life with Avalon (Ma Devagarbha) in Colorado, living close to their daughter, her husband, and two granddaughters, who are the light of his life. phaykus (at) outlook.com