An excerpt from White Star’s recently published book, ‘The Experience of the Ultimate’.
It’s 1983, just after the Second World Annual Celebration. Lino has been a resident at ‘The Ranch’ as Rajneeshpuram was often called, for over a year. While she lived there, the Ranch has burgeoned and blossomed to a full-on city in the desert, from 100 or so residents to nearly 2500 and many visitors coming every day, with a swell of 10,000 for the Annual World Celebrations in July. She is young, only 22, and has been a sannyasin since 1981.
I make it through the Celebration in a daze. The sprouts are a huge hit, and I and my crew celebrate by pretending to go work on the truck farm, but secretly we go down to the river and swim and picnic under the cottonwoods. We laugh with the giddiness of too little sleep and the release of all the pressure. We fall asleep in the sun until day’s end and go to darshan that night, for once not too tired to dance and sing enthusiastically and energetically. I’m rewarded after the Celebration for a job well done with a job change. I’ll be working in Bhagwan’s garden! It’s the dream job for anyone in the farming department and I weep with gratitude. To be near Bhagwan all day, in his presence, is all I’ve been dreaming about. Only a handful of people out of the now 2,500 residents are even allowed on the grounds of his house. It’s a rare privilege.
Nirmoh still works there, he has worked there from the beginning and will to the end. The older woman I met on my first day on the Ranch, Mukta, is the coordinator and she gives me gentle tasks to do. She’s a Zen-like coordinator who seems to blend in with the garden.
I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I begin my day walking up to the house, smiling at the guards. I kneel under Bhagwan’s window, asking for his blessing. I ask silently, in my mind, and sometimes I catch a glimpse of him, looking out at me, smiling indulgently. I feel peace descend upon me, a balm on my heart. I weep in gratitude; I know he is giving me a tremendous gift, a gift of consciousness transferred to me easily and simply. I putter around the garden in the morning; weeding, planting flowers and helping to repair a deer fence. I stay up there at lunch, with Nirmoh. We picnic together on the lawn, and take a nap lying in each other’s arms. We wake up just in time for the drive-by, watching Bhagwan come out of the house and stand in greeting with all the people who live in Bhagwan’s house.
Sometimes he stops to talk with Mukta or one of his caretakers.
Of Mukta, he asks gentle questions, about the peacocks of whom he’s particularly fond, or how the garden is doing. Although she sees him daily and has been close to him for years, she always weeps with love when she answers him, an act of devotion that never fails to touch me.
Bhagwan’s garden is a true oasis. Big pine trees and poplars shade the house and flowering bushes surround it. Peacocks stroll around and one morning when I arrive I see deer kneeling under Bhagwan’s window as if attending their own private darshan. There are several large lawns. We gardeners have a beautiful teahouse, built like a Japanese teahouse and an interior scattered with beautiful cushions. A hammock is strung between two trees just outside the little house. There’s a full kitchen in the teahouse and Mukta keeps it stocked with goodies. She has a laid-back style and is good to us gardeners, taking us under her wing and caring for us emotionally, physically, and even financially if we need it. She’s a Greek heiress and has untold millions of dollars. She is a wise mentor and will be my very good friend for many years to come. I love her dearly and feel so lucky to be one of her ‘kids’.
I don’t really view working in Bhagwan’s garden as work. It’s more like an all-day meditation. Often, I go into a very deep state and sometimes forget whom I am, where I am, or what I’m supposed to be doing as I sink deeper into the silence. My days are remarkably free of negative thoughts, confusing emotions or fatigue. I feel I have reached a state of peace that is quite profound.
One afternoon, I stand behind the house holding a hoe I’ve been using for weeding. I go into a spontaneous flash back of one of my past lives. Suddenly, I’m a man and the hoe I’m holding is a spear. I’m a bodyguard responsible for protecting the life of an Enlightened Master. I am pure awareness dedicated to preserving the life of this Master even if it means giving up my own. It’s a sacred task that I’m honored to perform.
I stay in that memory for a while, frozen in guarding position behind Bhagwan’s house. When I come back to the present, I shake myself to try to clear the strong impressions of the other life, but it keeps coming back all day.
The next day we hear shocking news. We have purchased a hotel in Portland for sannyasins to stay in while traveling back and forth from the Ranch to the airport. Someone bombed the hotel! The bomber is a religious nut who has screwed up his attack and blown up his own hands and miraculously no one else. He’s in jail, but we sannyasins are stunned. Someone really wanted to kill us. It’s sobering and scary. The entire farming department is called to a meeting. Vidya re-caps the bombing incident and says that we’ll now form a new department, a security department. Some workers will be asked to serve on the security force for 2-week shifts. I’m one of the people called. Somehow, I’m not surprised, because of my flashback. Though I must leave my blessed garden, I know that to be a guard is profoundly right for me.
I love guarding. Finally, I get a chance to sit and meditate for hours and hours. We have a very simple security system. A county road runs through the Ranch, and guards sit on chairs that lead from the county road to private roads. We sit under an umbrella with a Motorola walkie-talkie in hand and make sure only Ranch vehicles or vehicles with permission go down the private roads. There’s also an outpost ten miles up from the valley where our property begins. We call it “The Top of The Ranch.” There’s another post twenty miles down from the main valley at the other end of the property we call “The Gate” as there’s a large cattle gate. There’s an outpost on the truck farm too, overlooking the river, because the other side of the river is not our property.
At first, nothing much happens. I just sit there all day and feel peaceful. But occasionally there’s a “situation” to deal with. Reporters always try to infiltrate the Ranch, coming onto private property, asking unsuspecting workers loaded questions and distorting their answers. We get surprise visits from the INS all the time too, as immigration officials investigate foreign sannyasins’ passports or visas.
Then there are the religious fanatics who drive down the public county road, park in the mall area and hold signs and scream and shout at the sannyasins. “The Bhagwan is the devil and you are all going to hell!” they scream at us and hold up big signs proclaiming our doom. At first the sannyasins ignore this obnoxious interruption to their blissful days, then they figure out an ingenious way to drown out the shouting. Someone brings a drum and other instruments and the sannyasins circle around the screamers and dance and sing joyfully. It’s a hilarious sight.
I do guarding for two weeks, and then get to go back to the farm for two weeks. It’s late fall now, and there’s not as much to do in Bhagwan’s garden. So, on the two weeks I’m on the farm, I’m sent to Rabiya, the dairy farm (named after a female Sufi mystic), to work with the cows and horses. This becomes one of my favorite jobs I will do on the Ranch. I feed the baby calves in the morning, giving them bottles of formula as they butt their cute little heads against me. I feed the horses next and clean their hooves and brush them.
I ride them with Niyaso, a young woman who’s great with horses and teaches me everything she knows. We bond and become best friends.
After exercising the horses, we herd in the dairy cows, hose them down and milk them. We don’t do the milking by hand of course but set them up on the milking machines. The rest of the day we muck out stalls, unload hay trucks and feed the bulls. It’s hard work, but glorious work and Niyaso and I have time to laugh too. I feel like a real cowgirl, and the work suits me to a “T”. Now, this is really living on a ranch, I think, this is what it’s all about.
Excerpt from White Star’s recently published book.
Read the review by Iena SpiritWalker Robinson: The Experience of the Ultimate
White Star is an internationally acclaimed clairvoyant, medium and Medicine Woman. In 1981 she took sannyas and was given the name Ma Prem Lino. She was a resident in Rajneeshpuram, joined Osho on the World Tour in Nepal and lived and worked in the Pune 2 ashram. She has appeared several times on American TV, is in Who’s Who, has been voted one of the top 20 psychics in America and has had the title of Medicine Woman conferred upon her by other Native American medicine men and women. divinelightministries.com