Namaste from above the clouds


Sahajia remembers a very special moment on a flight from Seattle to New York.

Rajneeshpuram, Oregon
Airport, RIMU and RBG (photo credit Mahapatra)

In 1983, not long after taking sannyas, I flew from Seattle to New York to visit my parents. Just after take-off the captain made the announcement, “Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, on our trip to New York today our route will take us south to Portland, then east along the Columbia River, after which we’ll head north up to Idaho and then across the country to our destination.”

After a while the captain came on the mic again and said, “We’ve just passed Portland and are headed east along the Columbia. If you look out the right side of the aircraft you can see The Dalles and the John Day River.” I looked out the window and thought to myself… the John Day River?… hey, that’s the Radha River! I wonder if I can see the Ranch from up here? It was a partly cloudy day with broken cloud cover.

I kept looking and searching without success and was just about to give up when, Bingo! there it was! I could see the Ranch or parts of it anyway. I could make out sannyasins walking up to Magdalena from the bus stop. And from that height they looked like a line of red ants. I could see RIMU (Rajneesh International Meditation University) and our airstrip.

In a state of awe and excitement I placed the palms of my hands together and namasted the Ranch from 35,000 feet. At that very moment a strong gust of wind buffeted the plane and I was blasted with a blinding flash of white light as a shaft of sunlight was reflected off one of the wastewater treatment ponds down below. The Ranch had returned my namaste with a blinding flash of light and I was in bliss for the rest of the trip.


Anand Sahajia lived on the Ranch for almost three years and was one of the Caretakers. He plans to relocate to Santa Fe.

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