Veet Asmi, aka Persephone Arbour, remembers her first darshan with Osho, from Osho World Online Magazine, July 2012
“Once you have touched a Master or the Master has touched you, something that has never been in your consciousness has happened. And from that knowing there is no way to fall back. It is irreversible. And once you have felt it, then you know it is. And then you can see the same flame in the trees and in the rivers and in the people. Maybe it is not so clear, maybe it is clouded, hidden behind smoke, asleep, but it is the same whether asleep or awake, hidden behind a cloud of smoke or burning brightly with no smoke. It is the same flame. Once you have touched a Master or you have been touched by a Master…”
The moment I read this, my mind leaped back to my first Darshan in 1976 – my ‘introductory’ Darshan if you like. In the Pune ashram, it was very simple in those days. Darshan was held in Chuang Tzu, Bhagwan’s house. A medium-sized, white-walled space, with about 30 – 50 of us (I think) sitting in a semi-circle. Quiet, still, the whole room just waiting. The silent waiting was palpable. I was vaguely aware of a couple of orange-clad figures acting as guides and guards. Then, Bhagwan was there, in his simple white robe, sitting down, one leg crossed over his knee, one beautiful foot without a sandal. Every movement, as he sat down, was graceful. Soooo close he was to this eager, new and un-informed sannyasin.
Laxmi was at his side and beginning to call out our names, one after the other. Sitting, very alert and awake, we listened to others’ questions, and Bhagwan’s patient and wise answers. I couldn’t tell the differences within me between excitement, fear and love. All I remember is feeling totally overwhelmed to be so close to him. The only other person I remember being called up was an English sannyasin called Mallika. With a huge smile, Bhagwan asked her to teach Tai Chi in the ashram. Then, suddenly it seemed, Laxmi called out, “Veet Asmi” – and somehow, I found my way to kneel in front of him, heart beating so loudly I am sure he could hear it!
He looked at me with a broad smile on his face, glanced at the piece of paper that Laxmi had passed to him and asked me about the restaurant where I worked in London. Then he said that when he came to London he would like to visit it. It was apparently mundane stuff – nothing dramatic at all. I had no questions about my inner life, meditations or some such.
Then – “Anything to say?” he asked, and the words came out of my mouth without any thoughts preceding them, “All I can think of saying is, ‘Hello!'”
Everyone there, including Bhagwan burst out laughing – and he said, “Very good, very good” – and it was over!
That was my moment of being ‘touched by a Master’ – it changed my life.
First published in Osho World Online Magazine, July 2012
Darshan – 6 February 1976, published in Above All Don’t Wobble, Ch 22:
Osho says to a sannyasin who runs a restaurant in London:
Something particular about the restaurant?
Veetasmi: Well, it’s very small, very homely…
I would like to come!
Bhagwan asked Veetasmi about the type of growth groups she has been running in London, then asked if she had anything she would like to say…
Veetasmi: Well, it’s quite silly, but… I just want to say hello!
Good. (chuckling) It is good!