…left his body on 10th November 2018.
A letter from Amrit’s daughter, Shruti:
To my most beloved Baba,*
You gave me Life
And now I am giving you Death
And the chance of another Life
These were the words that came to me as I stood by your bed after we had reached a decision to let you go. Your body had suffered these past few years and as you lay in Intensive Care with tubes in and out of every orifice, it seemed unfair to prolong a life in an elderly, failing body for much longer. So with tears in my eyes, I stood at the foot of the bed, saying my farewell to you.
A man of contradictions – you were in many ways a traditional Indian man – a product of your time and upbringing. Yet you were a rebel in your own way. You abhorred all rituals and traditional religious ceremonies. Yet you would call friends and relatives for Diwali – the festival of lights – wishing them well. You were not an atheist, yet you did not believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God. There used to be heated discussions on the existence of God, the role of prayer and how it helps or not, and of course your favourite topics of Indian politics and cricket.
A strict disciplinarian, you had strong principles that you lived by all your life which, of course, caused strife between us, but was also a source of constant amusement for me.
You touched people in more ways than I care to count. A father, a husband, a friend, a counsel, a colleague, a mentor, a role model, an uncle, a son, a brother – you played all these roles to perfection – gliding from one to another, shape-shifting and weaving in and out of each with ease. Over the course of the day when we had the celebration for you, I had over a dozen people come up to me and say that they had lost a father in you. Or how you had helped someone at the start of their business, or had given them financial support even when you did not have much yourself and many such stories.
Osho’s sannyasin for 47 years, you were amongst the earliest he gave sannyas to. Doing Osho’s work in your own way, you would send people Osho books, meditation CDs or discourse series – urging them to listen, read and do the meditations. And the teacher in you would then say, “You must read / listen to them because I am going to ask you questions and we will have a discussion on it!” And the people were touched by these small gestures. One person told me that in the depths of depression after her husband passed away, you reached out and sent her Osho’s entire discourse series on the Bhagavad Geeta. Just when she had no reason to get up the next day, to eat or go to work, she began to look forward to coming back home from work, putting her feet up and listening to a discourse in the evening – a cup of tea in her hand. And that was the turning point in her life.
A stickler for time, a rare quality in an Indian, you trained hundreds of people to observe time as you hated being kept waiting. You would send people away if they came late, or once when you got a mobile phone you would call them again and again demanding where they were! So friends and family learnt to be punctual – at least when visiting you!
This last year and a half has been a very strong journey with you. We fought and argued bitterly, ate and went for walks together, laughed and cried, hugged, meditated – you showing your vulnerability many times for the very first time. We had a little ritual we went through each morning; you would call me up first thing and say, “Good Morning Shruti! I am calling to say, I am alive!”
And I would respond: “That is very good, Baba. I would be very worried if you called up to say, ‘Shruti, I am dead!’”
That never ceased to produce a chuckle out of you.
A strong, independent man, you lived life on your own terms. And in declaring that you wanted your death to be celebrated the Osho way, you presented a koan to an entire section of your work colleagues and family who had no idea what that meant. No priests or strange Hindu rituals, no chanting of mantras, no long, mournful faces, you wanted your final farewell to be a big Osho blast of dance, celebration, laughter and joy. A life and death to be celebrated and not mourned.
And that is what you got. In your death celebration, you brought together two distinct, disparate streams of your life – from friends and family, colleagues and factory workers, acquaintances to known and unknown sannyasins who had come to celebrate you, your life and your death.
In awe, in wonder and with immense gratitude – to you and to Osho,
*) Marathi for father
Amrit’s Celebration was held yesterday, Monday 13th November, in the Auditorium of the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune.
You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote using our contact form (pls add ‘Amrit’ in the subject field).
Dear Amrit, when I was in charge of the Commune’s bookshop you regularly came and helped out a few days a week. It was always a treat to have you around. You were very meticulous and loved to take care of the video and audio tape orders. You came across as a very gentle person and all the staff who came and went during my year there, missed you when you had your day off or where working somewhere else. I wish you a wonderful journey,
It was my time to come back to Shimla. I was in the Buddha Grove to say goodbye to Sohan Ma. She was sitting there with Swamiji and Bagmarji. The common topic was who was the eldest among them. The whole atmosphere was of great relaxation. All were talking about death as a race event coming closer and who would be the first winner. Bagmarji promised to give me his book before my leaving Pune the next day. Swamiji promised me to come to Osho Multimedia to sit with me. Sohan Ma gave me the parting hug and I came back to Shimla.
Next time, I came back, I did not see Sohan Ma. Then, Bagmarji’s book was with me but he was not there. And now, I hear, our beloved Swamiji also has left us.
Buddha Grove will be the same as it was before, encompassing the cosmic dance but at the moment, the void of the threesome touches my heart!
Swami Yoga Amrit Bharti may have done yoga or not, but I always felt a Yogi in him. His strictness was more to do with a discipline followed by a real yogi – a karmayogi. Yoga Karmasu Kaushalam. This is what his beautiful daughter Shruti has described him in loving words. I had some moments having chai with him in the commune’s press office and gentle arguments of friendly nature. I miss him.
Beloved Swami ji (Yog Amrit),
You are on the way to your own new journey – dissolving in to the Universe. Fly High ❤ you are going to remain in my heart always.
It is hard to say when the connection got strong, the love that we were sharing.
When you were in hospital I came to see you and I felt you were suffering a lot. It was hard to see you in that moment. We share a love that cannot be described in the words. Even though we are not biologically Father and daughter, you always introduced me as your daughter. Your fatherly love constantly showered on me and there was a caring feelings towards me. We were working together, meeting afterwards also. Years went like this. You always liked meeting people and taking care of those around you if they needed your help. You helped them without asking them – till the end so that they could find a solution. When I came to know the time had arrived, I realised how much feelings I have for you ? tears fall from my eyes – I am going to miss you so much, feeling, joy, discussion about different topics, food, phone calls and specially your laughter. We had so many beautiful unforgettable moments. Thank you for your love for me. I will going to miss you?❤?
It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing this obituary on your departure to your heavenly abode.
Though I live thousands of miles away from you way down in Sydney, there was hardly a week when we didn’t have a conversation. I had the singular privilege of hosting you on long stays (once in 2003 and once in 2007 and twice in 2011 on the occasion of my two daughters’ wedding) and it provided me the insight in your kindheartedness and wisdom. Until 2003, I used to call you Ramesh Bhau (bhau is a Marathi word for brother) but since then I started addressing you as KAKA because the girls called you so. You were the first person in whom I confided about my heart surgery.
You introduced me to Osho’s Geeta Darshan by couriering me his DVD lectures and since then we have heard them tens of times.
Our conversation centred around health, politics and cricket.
Kaka, I am missing you and Sunday 12:30 pm (Sydney time) the phone call will never be the same again. I LOVE YOU, Kaka.
Such an eloquently worded tribute, Shruthi Tai. I could not agree with it more as I was envisioning Kaka right before me as I read through.
Our deepest gratitude to you and Kaku for conducting a wonderful celebration and tribute to the life of our Kaka – he certainly would have wanted a celebration and it makes me smile that he himself would have scolded us for if we carried sorry and mournful faces! Chaitu and I had the privilege of Kaka and Kaku’s blessing at our marriage and we could not have been more grateful and honoured for it. In the lead-up to my marriage, Kaka would give sound advice and was ever soo helpful in preparations. Having his and Kaku’s presence really felt that we had been showered by grace for such a significant turning point in our lives.
Although we lived continents apart, we have always felt the closeness and warmth of our Kaka. We find solace that he has ascended to a spiritual plain of serenity, happiness and peace as he continues the journey beyond the material world, and even hopeful that perhaps our lives may somehow cross paths again.
With gratitude, love and light,
Gouri, Radha, Chaitu, Nathan and grandkids