(14 February 1950 – 19 January 2021)
From his friend Qadin:
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic
Yeah, when that foghorn blows
I wanna hear it
I don’t have to fear it”
– Van Morrison
Shanti Prabhu came to sannyas through an Osho yoga center in San Diego sometime between 1976 and ’78. He visited Poona, joined a Bay Area center and became a Rancho Rajneesh resident after marrying Ma Yoga Vidya. At the ranch he had various jobs, one of which was writing a wine column for the Rajneesh Times. He was never shy in expressing his opinions which led to several reprimands. Vidya was reluctant to exile her husband so Prabhu continued to enjoy his freedom of speech. In the chaos of 1985 contradictions became too great and Prabhu became Tim again leaving the commune, returning to San Diego (and Santa Fe for a brief time) where he managed various restaurants until his death.
Our friendship began when we shared a room in a ranch townhouse and somehow found each other afterwards living in San Diego. He was mostly a solitary person, occasionally dating but very monk-like except for his work. His sense of humor was his hallmark and his quick wit always supplied the last word. Family and music were cornerstones as was a love for his Irish roots and the mystical. During his last year he did have a cancerous tumor but successful treatments gave him a positive outlook. He and other family members contracted Covid-19 at a small family function and that’s what eventually took his life. After hearing of his death, I went home and wrote these words:
Yes it’s true, Timmy Mac is staring out at you
He wants you to know his body’s gone
But the love that was shared still lingers on
His acerbic wit was no defense
The covid curse was too immense
On the 19th of January it was time to go
Brother Pat sat by to let him know
The big adventure has just begun
Hilarious laughs are still to come
Make way, make way the angels cried
As Shanti Tim took to the skies
So now we beings earthly bound
Can only recall our friend the clown
His generous heart, his earnest search
The way he made this earth his church
I’ll miss his form I cannot deny
That stubborn, funny, tender-hearted guy
Shanti Prabhu was our bus driver on the bus from Portland, serenely driving hour after hour through the long, cold dark December night through deep snow on winding mountain roads, bringing us safely to the Ranch at 2:00 in the morning. Shanti Prabhu was the first person I met and connected with at the Ranch. I was a new sannyasin in a new world, and he would ask me, “In this moment, is there a problem?” and I would start laughing. At other times he would talk earnestly, troubled and questioning the things that were happening there all around us. This beautiful, sensitive, loving, witty man was a dedicated seeker and speaker of truth, and he walked his talk.
A few weeks ago, January 19, Osho Mahaparinirvana Day, I went outside at dusk. Gazing at the beautiful hills and the vast sky, I felt totally, deeply embraced by a powerful, transcendent, loving energy. Memories flooded in of Osho, the Ranch, and Shanti Prabhu which have stayed much in my heart and my thoughts since then. Now, reading of his death, I understand why, and I feel deeply touched and grateful.
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