(30 July 1956 – 23 January 2018)
Prem Sandesh (aka Sam Weinstein, Yoga Sam, Chicken Sandesh) was 20 years old when he visited Pune in 1977 together with his girlfriend Yamini and already a sannyasin by mail. Many surely remember that lanky, handsome, American teenage surfer with long blond hair who lived and worked at Weikfield Dormitory. Most importantly for him, during Pune 1 he formed an intimate friendship with Mataji for life and she often would call him in for tea to Francis House.
Yamini got pregnant a year later, and during a darshan Osho named their son in the womb, gave him the name Satyam and an energy darshan! He also spoke about giving birth and how to raise him. He said he would come out with his hands in Prayer, which Sandesh said he certainly did: “Yamini would tell you that it was not the most comfortable place for his hands to be during birth.” Sadly Yamini became ill and just when they were ready to accept a long illness, a motor cycle accident took her. Sandesh said, “I’m sure her long blond hair is blowing in the wind somewhere in the spirit world.”
He got to Rajneeshpuram in the early days and lived upstairs in the old barn-cum-ranch house with twenty other men and ran the gas station. Neehar took him under his wings and introduced him not only to the chicken coop but to farming in general, and that included the horses. He most famously also took care of the two emus, Ozzie and Harriet, built the A-frame for the peacocks up at B-site together with Govindo and established a successful colony of swans in the pond below B-site.
He was very happy being Mataji’s dedicated driver – bringing her up to Osho’s house every day just before drive-by and for her weekly chat. Sandesh said, “Over the years she really became my mum and we had many adventures together!” She called me ‘one-two son’ because I was the son that buttoned the bottom two buttons on her coat.
Sandesh lived in Western Australia together with his beloved, Sydel, whom he met in Poona 1 while buying some sandals she had made in the mala shop. They met again at the Ranch and for Sandesh it was love at first sight. They married 32 years ago and have a 27-year old son Zev Sanche along with his 37-year old son Satyam who lives in Sydney. Together they ran a Yoga school and managed an important charity supporting families to raise children in a conscious way.
Adapted from an article by Bhagawati written for Viha Connection
Last night around 9pm we took away Sam’s life support and let his body breathe and process on its own surrender to love and light. We had put a little box with Osho’s hair on his chest, a pillow, an egg Osho had given to him and his mala.
His family was around him during his passage. His sons are incredible and have Sam’s heart and magic in their own way. Sam was blessed to have Steph and Jade and Tash present with him and share their love. I could feel this eased his passage and gave him joy. I sat to his side, held him for a while and then slept.
When I awoke he was breathing softly and it felt he was not far from letting go of his body. I opened his eye to see him; I wanted to connect in this way. I saw the universe and complete emptiness, his pupils so wide. I said, “Sam you’re tripping.”
I left because I needed to go and freshen myself up and he needed to be tended to by the nurse for a moment. As I returned a nurse who was truly like a child elf – such a lovely presence – came running and said that he gently, with no struggle, peacefully surrendered his body with his last breath as she had moved him.
We held him and spent time with him. Energetically I could feel purple and light and the most beautiful smile that Sam had when he was totally relaxed and happy. An ocean of Love.
Love to all, so grateful for the waves of love and support.
He very much loved to chat to everyone and this was big part of his day. His yoga was so special because he carried the meditation and the oceanic love we are all connected to into his yoga community, with such dedication, and day after day. He taught in Australia alone over 15000 classes, and maybe a lot more.
Thanks for info and alerts to Baul, Peggy, Gulabo and Apta – credit for photos to Sandesh, Sydel, Claire, Vishrant, Mahendra
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My heart is aching. My eyes are blinded with tears. Today I heard the sad news that one of the most beautiful people I have ever known has passed to spirit. Leaving this earth plane way too soon….
26 years ago I was living in Perth, Australia, pregnant, attending pregnancy yoga classes 2-3 times a week, a large hall, windows along one side, looking out over the beach and the ocean beyond, hot summer days, sharing the gift of life with so many other pregnant women, many who I am still in contact with today, learning way more than yoga poses, learning about home-birth, the family bed, long-term breastfeeding, alternatives to vaccinations, water birth, home birthing, and more than all of that, learning the true meaning of unconditional love. This man gave his heart and soul to the women, men, children and babies (yes, there was baby yoga too) who attended his classes This is the man who gave, and gave and gave, expecting so little in return. Along with his beautiful wife, Sydel, they have changed the lives of thousands of people, in the most remarkable and wonderful of ways.
Dearest, most wonderful man, Sam Weinstein, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for simply being you. I will never ever forget you. I love you.
Dear Sam Weinstein, you were such a blessing in my life with Sydel for all you gave in support and yoga during my pregnancy and birthing process. (As an older mum). Now you travel on… much love and heartfelt gratitude,
Arjuna – in response to a Facebook post by Mega where he asserts that he will be living until 100 years old:
Beloved Mega “boom” may you live as long as you need. Mega “boom, boom, boom” goes Nivedano’s drum, and we sit so still, no movement. Like an arrow we run deeper and deeper inside this THIS…
Mega big “Boom!” and we let go dying, dying, deeper-deep. Into the heart of “it” – here, now, or at 86, or 86,000 years old from now. Can this be? Can we ever be late, or ever drop dead too soon, to eternity twinkiling?
Thank you for your notice about let-go “boom” friends, falling back off their meditation pillows in the last three days, the bamboo’s commenting and the crickets in Buddha Auditorium gossiping.
‘Chicken’ Sandesh must have guided me tonight to do a rare search of my Facebook home message thread and find your message. I’m glad I know he’s gone “boom! boom!”
Sandesh was like my twin brother. People used to mistake Arjuna for Sandesh and Sandesh for Arjuna on the Ranch. Sometimes Arjuna acted the chicken part and kept the joke going until both laughed at identity’s play.
I like that you call yourself Megaboom because in Zen, the boom of the drum comes from emptiness encased in the drum body.
Boom the booming each moment. I love you.
Such wonderful days at the chicken farm, the most caring of coordinators, so much fun among the eggs, the feathers and the chicken shit.
May you fly through the eternal unknown and land in your own glorious spot.
Oh, this is sad to hear. I worked with Chicken-Sandesh when I was a child on the Ranch, and he was truly one of the most friendly and loving adults I remember from that time of my life. I am happy to read just now that he had such a full and rich life.
Fly high Sandesh – and watch out for the Emus!