A biography of Osho’s first disciple, Laxmi, is an illustration of how to deal with life’s adversities, writes Nivedita R. in The Statesman, Delhi, December 20, 2017.
In a sheer attempt to bring to fore the story of a woman, who blazed a path for herself and others in the presence of godman Osho, Rashid Maxwell, a well-known artist, writer and poet, has written a one of its kind biography on Laxmi, who is Osho’s first disciple and secretary. Osho, in his lifetime, was viewed as a controversial mystic and a spiritual teacher but continues to be revered across the globe even after his demise. More so, his Pune Ashram is one of the main tourist attractions in India as it teaches a variety of spiritual techniques.
In his book titled ‘The Only Life – Osho, Laxmi and a Journey of the Heart’, Maxwell takes the readers through the innuendos of Laxmi’s life and traces her roller-coaster account of a life of starkly contrasting ups and downs. The book was launched by the author at Oshodham recently in the presence of renowned filmmaker Subhash Ghai. Ghai spoke on Osho’s influence on his films at the launch. He said, “My first interaction with Osho was in 1988. His thoughts, books and discourses have had a great influence on my movies and my sense of music. In 1999, I wrote and directed the film Taal; it was totally influenced by Osho’s teachings; especially the idea ‘Rise in love, do not fall in love’.”
Growing up an ordinary Indian girl in British India and rendered powerless in a domineering world, Laxmi went on to become Osho’s first disciple and secretary. The author explains, “What follows is an account of not just a life, but of the massive international movement, which grew around Osho in the 1970s and 80s ~ one that Laxmi was at the helm of. Equally, what unfolds is a narrative, full of pathos, where her protégé usurps her place. Heartbroken, ostracised and later banished, she wanders the wastelands of America in isolation, seeking to rediscover herself by choosing devotion for her master over despair.”
Shedding light on her spiritual journey and also troubled times, the author writes, “Laxmi’s journey and the way she lived continues to serve as a crucial illustration for dealing with life’s adversities. It shows that the path of kindness, devotion and awareness trumps all in these present chaotic and precarious times.”
Besides, several distinguished admirers of Osho have highly praised this book, including Sushmita Sen (actress), A R Rahman (musician, composer, singer), Sonu Nigam (singer), Suhel Seth (author), Kamlesh Pandey (creative writer) and Kiran Bedi (IPS Retd) among others.
“This book dwells in the borderlands between history and myth. It was brought into being to retrace and remember the life of the late Ma Yoga Laxmi. She had to pass through dark valleys and rank swamps before reaching those high peaks in the sun to which we all aspire; she found that place of peace and kinship with all things. She was the moon to Osho’s sun,” elucidates the author.
This biography is a branch of fiction and a quintessential guide to give the reader an inspiration as to how to lead a peaceful life even during the times of turbulence. The eloquent writing style, coherent narrative and an immaculate vocabulary make it a fascinating read. This book perhaps might change one’s perspective of viewing various significant happenings in one’s lives. The author writes, “Some would call her a saint, some would call her a sinner. She is both and she is neither. She is you, she is me.”
About the book
The Only Life – Osho, Laxmi and a Journey of the Heart by Rashid Maxwell
Simon and Schuster India
Review by Bhagawati with links to where you can buy the book
The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi and a Journey of the Heart