Laxmi is not in America now

Laxmi in the spotlight Prose

Excerpt from the recently published book by Rashid Maxwell, The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi and a Journey of the Heart.

Illness is the symptom of a body out of balance just as extreme weather is a planet out of balance and economic crises an economy out of balance. However all phenomena contain the seeds of their renewal, albeit in a multitude of different forms. Out of the imbalances, a cure is being born; a new awareness rises to restore the balance.

If we listen carefully, below the sounding brass of politicians and the press, below the harsh percussion of the multinational corporations, gentle voices can be heard that offer answers to the questions that we hardly dare to ask ourselves. ‘Let the dead bury their dead.’ The old, separatist, competitive, carbon-era culture must bury itself before it buries all of life on earth.

To whom belong these voices questioning our fundamental attitudes and concepts? They belong to the cutting edge of science, to the sages and the mystics and the artists and the worldwide flowering of millennials. They come too, from the domain of meditation and of love

Our choice in this age is between love and fear. The new way, the only way now, is the way of the heart, of connection and cooperation. This path does not come with maps and plans and formulas; it comes from not knowing and trust

The new shift of consciousness has already started to happen on a scale not hitherto seen. We will never know the full extent of Osho’s contribution to this nor the full scale of his work. A master is not bounded by the logical or visible. Recent scientific work in forests has discovered that each tree communicates, along vast and ancient networks of mycelia, with neighbours and especially with its offspring and relatives. These fungal colonies also act as channels for the transfer of nutrients to other forest trees in need. Osho has laid down unseen networks of being that will help this world renew itself through the hearts of those who tap into his wisdom.


Four months after the momentous assassination of Indira Gandhi, at four o’clock in the morning of 14 February 1985, Laxmi returns to India. She arrives in South Delhi where there have always been many friends and much support for her. At the previous Fourth Annual World Celebration on the Ranch, now named Rajneeshpuram, in a tent among ten thousand tents, two friends of many years, had met and almost without words, found agreement. One of them, Swami Kul Bhushan, was an Indian journalist in East Africa, the other, Swami Atul Anand, ran and still runs, the Rajyoga Osho Meditation Centre in South Delhi. He was looking for nearby accommodation for Laxmi. Kul had not quite completed construction of a house there. He promised part of it for her.

Now Laxmi settles in the upstairs rooms of the house known as E2, set in an affluent and bustling quarter of South Delhi. Kul’s wife Rashma remembers Laxmi arriving in the small hours of the morning. “She had just endured a fifteen-hour flight. She walked round the rooms tapping a wall here and there saying, ‘These are not cardboard houses. Laxmi is not in America now. India may be dying of poverty but the West is dying of power.’”

Sheela’s ban on sannyasin contact with Laxmi is of course still in force but luckily for her there are enough sannyasins everywhere who have the intelligence and the courage to disregard specious diktats from centralised authority. Laxmi is without personal funds. That has been true for her since she first started as Osho’s secretary in 1970. Now, however, she is bankrolled in a modest way by her Delhi friends.

She is not alone because Ma Dassano from Washington has accompanied her out of love and the wish to take care of her. She is not in good health but apparently not in bad health either; her cancer is in remission. Her digestive system is impaired: when she eats, she often vomits. Her psychological energy is not impaired. Laxmi is always jubilant, always looking for ways to enhance Osho’s work. And now, since the operation in Washington, something has changed inside her. Distance from him is no object, he is her subject.

E2 becomes a hub of activity. If her physical form is not strong, her spirit is unquenchable. “His needs come first. Vitamin M! We first set up a restaurant; Zorba the Buddha for Delhi. Then also Laxmi must be looking at properties. A car is needed.”

Does she know something that other sannyasins don’t know? Does she see some half-written writing on the wall? It is rumoured in the Osho meditation rooms of Delhi that the master has said to Laxmi, “You find a new site for the commune in India. I want to leave America – leave this place to Sheela.”

The Only Life, Ch 12 (excerpt)

Read Bhagawati’s review of The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi and a Journey of the Heart

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Rashid MaxwellRashid took sannyas in Pune 1. There he worked growing vegetables for the master-gardener. On the Ranch he spent a lot of time in the pot-room and the fire tower. In Pune 2, till the master left the body, he was a bodyguard, an editor and all jobs in-between. Now he lives in Devon, keeps bees, paints and makes prints, designs buildings and landscapes for sacred use. He has published three volumes of poetry. – articles, poems and artwork by this author on Osho News

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