Dancing for Osho and his disciples

'My Story' by Gayan Profiles > People

Gayan shares moments with Osho…showing robes and dancing in darshan…being a vehicle for Osho’s energy. (Part 2 of 4)

Osho Nirvano slippers

In the first part of our interview you talked about dancing a few times during energy darshans. On what occasion did you dance for Osho again?

Osho had had mediums in darshan for some time, but more women were chosen to become mediums and Osho wanted them all to be dressed the same. Deva Padma had made some exquisite drawings and Nirvano had collected dresses she liked that belonged to different women living in Lao Tzu, Osho’s house. On one of the following days Nirvano came up to me and told me that she needed someone to show the dresses to Osho. It was odd that she would ask me, but it turned out to be one of the most lovely moments that I have ever experienced.

Nirvano came with this heap of clothes, plus the drawings made by Padma, and with them we went into Osho’s bathroom where I put on the first dress to show him. I walked into his room and there he was sitting in his chair, with Nirvano kneeling by his side. Next to him was a little side table covered with books, pens and a tape recorder. I came in and – it was funny to see – Osho pressed the button for the music to start – and he wanted me to dance! It made sense, because he wanted to see the dresses in movement; they had to look nice while the mediums were swaying.

Yes, Osho always wanted the most beautiful.

You didn’t know you were going to dance?

No, I did not expect that. It was before anybody knew about my background as a dancer. The music was some Indian classical music with only a singer. There was no rhythm in it, so I just tried to go with that. Osho paused the music when I went to change dresses and pressed the button again when I came in with the next one. And then came the next dress, and the next.

For me, to see them sitting together and looking at me – I will never forget this picture, Osho and Nirvano – and me in front of them dancing in his room. It was amazing. And still, again, there was something very familiar there for some reason I don’t know.

I have seen Osho and Nirvano quite a few times in situations that were very intimate. But I could be there too, I was included, I was part of it. There was such immense love between them, and just to be able to see that and feel that was a blessing. This was one of the moments that touched me the most while being around Osho. Maybe because love is also my thing.

That was my first experience of intimacy with the Master, except for taking sannyas and some group darshans. While working in the library I did have contact with Osho but it was always through Nirvano. It was never a direct contact.

Do you remember if Osho decided to accept one of Padma’s drawings?

I don’t remember so clearly how it went on after that with the dresses, because I was not involved. Nirvano did it together with Padma who had her sewing department in the ashram, in Jesus House.

Do you think it would be a good idea to ask Padma?

Yes – great idea!

This is what Padma writes:

Not long after I had finished sewing the uniforms for Shiva’s samurai guards, which I had designed, Laxmi phoned my room in Jesus House and told me to go to Lao Tzu House and see Nirvano. Sitting at the dining table in Lao Tzu kitchen, Nirvano said that Osho asked I design the robes for the mediums. She had some rough notes from him and suggested that I do some drawings. I drew up four different robes and brought them the following day. After Osho had seen them, the designs came back to me with his input on written notes. This went back and forth for a few days. Finally a design was selected; it was a sleeveless model.

I was also to source the fabric – it needed to be easily washable, light in weight, not wrinkling, nor fading, synthetic (not silk, wool or khadi) – and I sent samples to Nirvano. As soon as one was selected we began sewing. Over about six weeks the mediums came to my room for measurements to be taken and for fittings. I had three Indian tailors working along with a group of sannyasins that worked in my room. Everything needed to be ready quickly.

Each medium was to have two robes. There were at least twelve mediums, but the list continued to grow… it was a “work in progress” that went on for many months. Finally I was invited to energy darshan (once all the sewing was done) with the women from my sewing group. I was called up to sit beside Osho and call each of the seamstresses up by name. It was so cool to play that role because each one of them was given energy darshan. Then he touched my head and said, “Padma, now it is your turn.” I turned around to sit in front of him and all the mediums were brought forward to participate.

A few months later when the weather got cold in the evenings, I was asked to create capes for everyone. The capes were made out of the same fabric as the sleeveless robes. That cloth is so vivid in my memory as I am sure it is for all the women that wore it!

When you talked about Osho and Nirvano sitting together watching you dance, it felt as if they were here with us, in this room.

Nirvano was close to me, because I worked with her in the library, not that she worked in the library as such but she was always the channel to Osho. I never experienced a channel that was so open. She was just a channel. Later in the sewing room, in New Jersey, Rajneeshpuram and back in Pune – I did the sewing for him for 9 years – she was also the in-between. It was so beautiful to have her in that role.

I felt the difference when Nirvano moved to Krishna House a few months before Osho left his body, and some of her jobs went to others. She wanted to get off the beeper – she had been on the beeper for 24 hours, and this for years – and wanted to have a look at where she was. Osho was all for it; she always asked when she wanted to do something else. He gave his blessings and she moved out.

The new caretakers looked after Osho in rotation, ten days one, ten days another, ten days a third. That’s how I suddenly had three bosses. Shunyo was beautiful; I knew her well, because we had worked together while she was in the laundry and when I was the head of the sewing department. We even lived together which was fun as we got along really well. But with the other two, Anando and Amrito it was difficult; I saw how it is when somebody brings in their ego. It feels totally different and loses it’s ease.

Nirvano was so open. I often asked her questions because she knew Osho so well. When there was a situation where I had to decide on something and was not really sure, I could ask her what she felt or how I could do something. There was all the support, because she had a very good feeling for what Osho would have liked or what would fit. But in the end it was always my decision.

That’s something I learned from her; not to use my head, but to go inside and feel what Osho would like to have done. In the sewing room there were many occasions where I had to give a direction, where I carried the responsibility. I think that he must have put me there for a reason.

Did you feel disappointed not to be asked to dance in darshan again?

No, I wasn’t. But I would have liked to be a medium, because they could go to darshan every night!

I think that every woman wanted to be a medium!

Yes, everybody.

Then one day Nirvano came to me with the message that Osho wanted me to come to darshan as a medium. I should dance before the energy darshan too. As we sannyasins were so many people by then, we could no longer talk to Osho. Instead, to those people who were arriving or leaving, he gave energy by touching their third eye. They would kneel in pairs in front of Osho and I was to be dancing between them and the others who were attending the darshan. At that time one could book a darshan to see Osho individually when arriving or leaving, or as part of the group energy darshan.

In the group energy darshan with the blackout were you then also part of the mediums?


Was there some plan how the mediums would line up? It always looked so smooth.

Initially – I was not there at the time – the mediums would set themselves up, side by side, in a semicircle in front of Osho. He then motioned who and where they had to sit, kneel or stand, leaving the remaining ones in the semicircle. Later there was a plan according to which the mediums placed themselves in pairs in a semicircle around him. My position was always directly opposite Osho. My partners were Prem Gayan and Nandan. And Nirvano was always to my right.

Every afternoon Nirvano came to the library and together we made the plan for the evening. Some mediums did not come every night, for instance those working in the kitchen, like Anando, Vismaya, Anasha who were working in shifts, or maybe someone could not come because they were taken ill. We hung the plan on the Lao Tzu kitchen door where everybody could check what position they had to take that night.

Tell me again the story where Osho asked you to go and look for mediums.

One afternoon Nirvano came to see me and told me that Osho wanted me to look for women who could be mediums. That was all he had said. So I went looking around the ashram and then went to Music Group, although I didn’t even know what to look for. I thought of the mediums we already had, but they were a pretty mixed crowd. Now suddenly I saw people with different eyes. In the end I found two or three women whom I then suggested, but I never heard anything about this afterwards. They came once to darshan, but were not chosen as mediums. So I don’t know what this was all about.

You also told me that you taught the mediums how to dance.

Another time Nirvano came with a message from Osho that he wanted me to show the mediums how to dance. We met on the terrace, on the first floor of Lao Tzu House, where later the sewing room was going to be. We lined up the same way we did in darshan, always two mediums dancing together, one behind the other. I told them to connect in the hara, the centre of the body from where all movements come. I asked them to watch that all their movements – of torso and arms – came from that point and went out and expanded. I wanted them to feel connected in the hara – from belly to bum – and remain connected there at all times.

Next I had everybody line up one behind the other, like a long snake and move in the same way. It was amazing what happened – I would never have thought of the effect this would create with all the mediums lined up. The energy went up like in a big wave. They all went bananas, but loved it. They got the feeling of what it meant to be connected in their centre with another person, and move in whatever way the energy was going. I don’t know if Osho wanted this, but I had no other great ideas on that day.

But to have two mediums together was Osho’s idea?

Yes, that was his idea, but I would never have thought that it would create such an energy.

Haridas told me the other day that when working with kinesiology or with the Mora machine you can test a person via a surrogate. If you cannot test a baby directly, you can test the mother who is holding the baby in her arms. So yesterday I was thinking that’s why there was such an energy rush in that ‘dancing lesson’. We were nearly 20 women. It really exploded. We did the same exercise again afterwards and felt the same energy hit. I guess we all realised how much energy can be created even without Osho’s physical presence.

I remember that, almost 20 years later, in ’98, we had an energy darshan event in Buddha Hall – I was asked to participate and coupled up with Amiyo that evening. It was just us sannyasins because Osho had already left his body. I think it was Garimo’s idea. You could actually book for it.

It was done in a similar way as an energy darshan with Osho, but this time in Buddha Hall. There was the semicircle of mediums in pairs – one behind the other – some of the ‘original’ mediums also participated. The participants were seated in front of the ‘empty’ chair on the podium and someone took Osho’s role to touch the third eye of the seated sannyasins. There was music. I remember when Aneesha and her boyfriend, Buddhen, sang and played, but there were other musicians too.

The energy was amazing. It was so beautiful to experience what we could create with our own energies. The following year another such event was held somewhere in a group room in the Pyramids. It was a pity that we let it die out, because it showed so clearly that we can create this wonderful energy of bliss and love with each other – it is all there in us.

When Osho stopped giving darshans, on 23rd March 1981, the dancing – for me at least – stopped. Later Teertha took over and gave sannyas and energy darshans. I participated in a few of them, but slowly slowly the ‘old’ mediums left and Teertha choose new mediums. That was good, I felt. That was the end of Pune 1. Then we went to America – but that’s another story.

Interview by Punya

Read on next month to hear Gayan talk about her experiences in New Jersey and Rajneeshpuram: In Osho’s sewing room

Read the whole series: ‘My Story’ by Gayan

Thanks to Padma (embraceart.com) and to Gayan, Yatren and Satyam Thomas for making their darshan photos available online

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