(15 February 1950 – 1 April 2021)
Swami Prabhu Viyogi took sannyas on 14 August 1975.
I met Viyogi in my late teens in Nijmegen, Holland. At that time I became close friends with him and his twin sisters, Vipassana and Sonia.
In the early 70’s pre-Osho days, Viyogi, myself and a few other friends lived together on an experimental hippie farm in rural Holland, growing organic vegetables and exploring alternative lifestyles. We were all spiritual seekers.
I remember Viyogi giving me the book ‘Cutting through Spiritual Materialism’ by Chogyam Trungpa for my 19th Birthday which made a huge impact on me.
Later on Vipassana and Viyogi went to India, found Osho and soon I followed.
He has been a great influence in my life and is one of my oldest friends.
We had so many good wild and crazy times together touching each other’s souls. I will miss him.
My beloved Yogi,
Thirteen years ago, on a beautiful last summer party on the beach, I met this guy, Yogi, he told me! We started dancing and we did not leave each other till some weeks ago, the day he passed away.
From that hour on the beach our love life gave us wings for many beautiful years! He saw me and I saw him in all human and spiritual movements.
I met a colourful, sincere and faithful heart, with all the joy, craziness, freshness, love, laughter and contradictions and pain.
I stayed because of our both singing fresh hearts… including… these last two years he disappeared in his mind sickness. He told me so many times, “This Is Not Me!”
Four times he had the power to stand up, out of this hell for a couple of months, and than he rose up acting like a newborn child… with crying tears of Grace and Gratitude and power!
We had the strong hope and trust it would all pass away. And it happened, he did – the battle fought is over… free of his body and mind!
Something in me also died. And… will prevail in me carrying this most wonderful glancing pearl in my heart.
Ma Dakini Shakti, Amsterdam
Our dear Yogi shuffled off last week. His body was at home. I went round to sit with his remains. He was well gone. In my mind’s eye I could sense him in the spring storm. In the wind that was moaning round the windows and the flurries of snow sweeping the street outside.
The following is just my observation, of course; Yogi was not and had not been in a good space for many years. I very rarely saw him. Not being a psychologist, I could not diagnose his dilemma; it seemed bipolar in some respect, mood swings that created euphoria for weeks at a time, hence the phone calls to old friends all over the world, anytime – day or night – then, as seemed inevitable over the years, his sinking back into fear with addons: anxiety, sleeplessness, etc etc.
This is part of a letter I wrote to a friend late last summer: Viyogi asked to see me. He was in his upswing time; shining, full of vulnerability, innocence and joy; he was all squishy.
I remember him arriving his first day in Pune 1, alighting from a Bombay taxi, early monsoon; it was raining. I won’t forget it. Dude looked like Jesus. I can still see his face from that first day.
We would connect and talk whilst sitting on the zen wall in the ashram. I liked the dude, I still do, though unfortunately he is in an awful spiral of mental anguish, OCD and fear. He is now once again committed to the psychiatric centre, where it seems they basically keep him comatose and fiddle with his drug regime. It is frustrating as there is nothing to do, no rhyme no reason. It is very real for him. I am heartless. I find compassion difficult, to just placate, to pretend, to stroke, to ‘there there’; to play along gets crusty for me.
A beautiful man fighting with the illusions in his mind. Tumbled into what must be hell, no words can help nor heal. I, in my character, after a time get pissed and want to get it to stop, shake him, confront him, wake him from his nightmare. Not possible. He was immersed in the confusion created in his mind, a different mirror into suffering. It was painful to watch and must have been excruciating for dearest Yogi.
That was late last summer. After that meeting at his house, he came to Vondel Park once and we hung out. It was always talk of old times, which is fun, though ‘water under the bridge’ to some extent. After that, we had one more meeting where I could feel him tumbling. Next, I heard he had been once again put in the psychiatric ward.
His girlfriend, Dakini, is a loving angel. She looked after him, cared for him, most every day. She is the one to find his body. She organised everything. Dakini said he was good for a few months after his last stay in the psych ward; then he started again with his journey down to his lonely place of darkening shadows.
His bier was placed on a single horse-drawn cart. Our cortege of bicycles followed on through the city to the ‘uitvaart centre’, the Dutch burning Ghat. Someone brought a guitar and soon enough the universe was singing along. And other heartfelt Osho songs. There was no rendition of ‘jump into the holy fire’. Thank f**k… you gotta laugh – which I did with Yogi. Death in our cult is experienced as a celebration of life’s journey, not a sad affair, but a release from this mind and body conundrum back to the heart of existence. Yogi was released from suffering.
I loved that dude; he slid gently into the hole in the wall to become ashes. He lives on in our hearts.
Prageet (Norman Cohn) writes:
Today I received notice that my dear friend and brother Viyogi died. I have spent the day in agony and grief; I cried so much and drank too much in order to deaden the pain of a good man passing; one of the few good men that I have had the honor to call my brother; one of the men who I truly believe was the best of the best. I remember hearing Viyogi say, “Share the women, share the wine.” We shared women and today we shared the wine. When we were in the South of France, I remember him sitting and enjoying a Pastis at the end of the day while I frantically worked to develop Sangam. So today, I spent the day drinking wine and Pernod (the closest I have to Pastis), and am quite drunk as I write this.
Viyogi lived every moment as his last. His two sisters died of congenital diseases. I loved Vipassana and as a bodyworker I held her head in my hands and sensed that she needed more than my expertise. Soon after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I tried to be with my dear friend as he navigated her time in a coma and her eventual demise.
After I was kicked out of the ashram, I ended up in Amsterdam where Viyogi and I lived for free in an apartment complex that was to be torn down. I cooked veggies and rice; we listened to Stevie Winwood and Phil Collins; and every morning we had our tea on our deck while watching the wrecking ball demolish adjoining buildings. We ate raw herring, drank copious amounts of beer, and after living in India for so many years, we unzipped our pants when we sat down. I remember we did just that when we went to the movie, The Blues Brothers.
We traveled through France together, ending up in the South of France where I started Sangam. He was my rudder, he was my anchor, he was calm while I was being crazy Prageet. And he was my dear friend.
When my son traveled to Amsterdam, Viyogi took him out for a beer and said to him that I am voracious – he knew me so well. He could experience my insanity and stay calm in my storm. He was my brother, and my heart, and my soul.
Through the years I called him in Amsterdam, and after I sold my business, I invited him to an all-expense trip to Seattle, but he couldn’t fly because his body hurt so much – and now I will never see my dear friend again. I will never again be able to hug him, never be able to laugh with him, and never be able to enjoy our time together.
I don’t know anything about women, but I do know men, and he really was the best of the best. I write this because I have to, because his death diminishes me. Love.
Thanks for alert to Megha, and thanks for help in getting info and photos together goes to Gyanam, Amito, Divya, Ashvagosha and Bhagawati
From a darshan with Osho
[The brother of Vipassana, a sannyasin who died three days ago of an inoperable brain tumour came to darshan.]
You did well. It is difficult, but you did well. And if one can face a loved one’s death, one comes out of it completely integrated.
Death can be very disintegrating… it can shatter you, or it can be a very crystallizing force and can make you integrated. It depends how you use it, how you look at it. And you have done well. Very good…. Something to say?
I just want to thank you.
Osho leans forward and places his hand on Viyogi’s head which is lowered before him. They sit together, master and disciple, silently, unmoving, with eyes closed. Finally Osho removes his hand and smiles gently at Viyogi who returns queitly to his place.
Darshan diary: Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle, Ch 2
- Listening is a positive silence – Osho replies in darshan to a question from Viyogi
There were so many friends I saw when I worked and played in the Ashram of Pune 1. Friends I might have not talked to so much – it did not matter. I looked in their eyes, sensed them and just loved them deeply. Viyogi was one of them. I just loved the man. He lent me his Ghetto Blaster with the latest Punk and Rock Tapes. I was so happy and thankful; he turned me onto Rock music like nobody else in those days. We met, looked at each other, big smiles and that was it. Pure heart. Thank you Viyogi. Thank you for having being around. Thank you,
Anandadas Reinhold Spiegelfeld
Such strong and vivid memories (more visceral than in the mind) of times in Poona 1, when we (now “oldies”) were altogether in this magical experience with Osho. Viyogi… ah… a gorgeous man in and out. A beautiful fellow dharma brother now released from his in recent years very challenged body and mind (which I only now learned about). The heart is affected, no doubt, when someone of “us” departs and yet it is always a wake-up call how much I am in line, always have been and now being an “oldie” death has definitely a more potent place in my life.
Viyogi, beloved fellow traveler, you are in our hearts while we are still roaming this planet, and who knows, beyond this so-called physical existence.
Much love to you!
Gabriele (Ma Prem Gatha)
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