(4 September 1937 – 8 July 2019)
Deva Nishanto, ‘end of the night’ (aka Heiltje Eringa)
Born on 4 September 1937 in Sneek, The Netherlands
Lived in the 80s in the Amsterdam Commune
Died on 8 July 2019 in Almere, The Netherlands
Very much inspired by Osho, Nisha wrote these lines on her facebook page:
It is as it is.
If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love others.
Be a light unto yourself.
You are already enlightened, you only have to wake up.
This is a little story about Nisha: a compilation of short messages from her friends and the moments I remember Nisha myself. She lived in Amsterdam in the Mystery School when I first met her in 1986. She was a good friend of my partner Paripurn, who was almost the same age as her; both had been sannyasins for some time already. She went to Rajneespuram in 1983 and several times to Pune 2. Pari also remembers her from Poona in the years 1991, 1992: Nisha appeared to be a very experienced Poona traveller. I myself was still rather hesitant to go and discover some shopping areas, but with amazing bravery Nisha took me by the hand and showed me around. She appeared to know lots of interesting shops and even restaurants.
When I browsed her FB page some years back I found a text on her info page: She wrote how she was brought up in an orthodox Christian family and was so happy that she had found Osho who gave her a new life and a new freedom. This touched me, because I know how hard it can be to live joyously when one is born with these conditionings. To find an alive Master was a tremendous gift for her. She expressed her gratefulness to Osho for this, and it made me understand more about her.
In my eyes she was a kind of Zen nun, walking through life pretty detached, although she had many friends. She did her own thing, in her own way. Lived in several Osho communities, sharing her insights and her being. She spent a lot of time alone, in her own place, painting nature in the vegetarian pensioners’ community in Oosterbeek, which was a great way to express herself. For several years she had a colourful website with her paintings. Someone remembers: Nisha was very active in a social sense, she was in touch with most of the inhabitants of the community. Also, she worked as a volunteer in the nursing home here.
The last few years Nisha spent in a lovely pensioners’ flat in her son’s new house, together with her beloved grandchildren. She enjoyed their company and they went for small trips into town together, she as a real grandma, walking her new life. The fear of growing old with the first signs of Alzheimer made her ponder about the future. I chatted with her about this, as awareness about dying is also a meditation for me. Her family gave her all the care and support during these last years.
There was a very special, colourful farewell celebration [on 12 July in Utrecht]. Dutch Gyanam and Srajan played guitar and sang Osho songs with other long-time sannyasins. Family, children and friends shared in the last loving send-off. Beautiful, what a celebration! Exactly how Nisha would have wanted it to be…
Nisha also sang in a choir, called the Love-songs choir. One of her friends from the choir wrote: This morning we sang for you. In our Love-song choir. In Oosterbeek. Tears were flowing down my cheeks – a warm heart for you…
And one of the grandchildren wrote (referring to a family-meeting just a few days before Nisha’s death): Last Sunday was a beautiful day. Thank you, grandma. Have a good journey, I love you…
In 2013 Nisha had written beneath one of her paintings that was published in a newsletter of the vegetarian community:
Each flower in bloom reminds us that we too have to unfold and express ourselves, and every tree whispers the secrets of life in our ears with its rustling leaves.
Photos thanks to Gyanam, Manjula and FB
You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote using our contact form (pls add ‘Nisha’ in the subject field).
Thank you Nisha. Your paintings are so beautiful. Your smile. Your elegant attitude. I sure can keep learning through you.
Ma Prem Divo – H.J. Maestracci