(5.5.1941 – 18.3.2022)
Swami Satya Vedant (Dr Vasant Joshi, PhD) left his body on 18th March 2022 – at 3am, on the full moon of Holi – at Osho Dham, New Delhi, where he had returned after a hospital stay. The doctors tending to him said he had died of cardiac arrest.
In the morning, friends who had taken care of him, and friends from all over the world, sat in silent celebration to bid him farewell. The cremation was held in New Delhi at 1:30pm (Facebook video) and Osho Evening Satsangs in remembrance of Satya Vedant were celebrated in New Delhi and in various locations across the globe.
Friends will remember Satya Vedant as a gentle, soft-spoken and elegant person. News about and from him always came to Osho News from various corners of the world, where he travelled tirelessly to share Osho’s vision.
Those close to him reminisce of hearing his beautiful voice while singing kirtan songs or ghazals, accompanying himself on the bina.
Life in Academia
After completing his PhD from the M.S. University of Baroda in 1966, Satya Vedant left for the USA having been admitted for the graduate programme in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. While a student there, he received an invitation to teach a course on The Cultural and Literary Traditions of India at the University of California, Berkeley. Although the course was offered for only one year, Vedant taught it for three more years (1967-1971).
While teaching and researching at Berkeley, Vedant went through a change in interest and, in 1971, enrolled for the doctoral programme in Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 1973 he attained there his PhD in Education.
Satya Vedant has served not only at the University of California, but also at the University of Michigan, and worked as Director of Institutional Research at City Colleges of Chicago. He was Academic Dean, Professor and Chairman of Comparative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. Vedant has also served as Visiting Professor/India Scholar teaching Eastern Religion and Hinduism at Cleveland State University, Ohio.
His range of teaching and research experience included: education, Indian culture and history, religious studies, and meditation and self-improvement.
Satya Vedant has been in the academic field for over thirty years – in India and in the United States. He has travelled worldwide: giving lectures, presenting papers, participating in seminars and conferences and conducting workshops.
Life with Osho
While in the US, Vedant heard of Osho and in 1975 arrived in Pune to participate in a ten-day meditation camp. It was on the first day of this meditation camp that he was initiated into sannyas by Osho. Since then he has dedicated himself to promote Osho’s work worldwide.
After 24 March 1981, when Osho went into his silent phase, Osho asked Satya Vedant to start giving sannyas initiation and energy darshan to Indian seekers (while Teertha took on Western friends).
In 1984 Osho declared him enlightened (he was on the list!). He was appointed by Osho as Chancellor of the Osho International Multiversity and to be part of the original Inner Circle, which Osho had set up on 6 April 1989.
Satya Vedant gave numerous public lectures and held meditation workshops around the world, including at the United Nations, the World Bank, the Pentagon, as well as at Dr. Deepak Chopra’s programme in San Diego, California. His workshops were mainly focused on Stress Management, Managerial Effectiveness, Leadership, Human Relationship, Women and Self-Empowerment, Education and Health Enhancement for Police.
In 1993, he presented a unique ecology project at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, titled From Garbage to Zen Garden, where he spoke about the Osho Teerth Park developed by the Osho International Foundation, Pune. In July 2010, he travelled to Moscow, Russia, and presented Osho’s vision at the All Russia International Adwaita Congress.
On 16 April 2016 he held a speech at the International Medical Conference and Health Festival in Wroclav, Poland, titled, Inner Ecology: The only way to building a healthy humanity.
He was instrumental in the creation of an Osho Chair at the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSG) in Surat, inaugurated on 22 January 2017. The workshops, seminars and lectures are first focusing on one of the sevenfold Osho Chair Basic Framework: Life Empowerment. This is part of a project he had initiated before 2011, so that researchers can learn about Osho’s vision.
More recently he shared his concern to save Osho’s legacy during interviews on various YouTube channels (e.g. TNC Live ).
Books and Articles
Satya Vedant’s publications include books and a wide range of articles published in journals, magazines, and newspapers in India, the US, and Australia. He has also translated Osho’s books from Hindi to English, e.g. The Fabric of Life: On the Songs of the Mystic Kabir.
Some of Satya Vedant’s renowned books: Osho: The Luminous Rebel – Life Story of a Maverick Mystic (review); If It Could Happen to Buddha, Why Not You?; The Awakened One: The life and Work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh; Revolution in Education; Bharat: Samasayaen Va Samadhan; Chatana Ke Pankhuri (चेतना के पंख); Spectrum of Mindfulness (review). (Full list on sannyas.wiki).
Text for bio credit to sannyas.wiki, taksha.org, oshoworld.com; photos credit to Bhagawati, and friends on FB: Keerti, Anand Arun, Prarthna, Vairagya, Prem Shunyo, Govind Ajay, Osho Nisarga, Osho Nirvana, Osho Prem Bindu.
The First and Last Meeting
by Chaitanya Keerti (18.3.2022)
I met Swami Satya Vedant the day he entered the gate of the Rajneesh Ashram Pune, in 1975. I happened to be standing near the gate when I first saw him… He looked like someone special as he was wearing the clothes of a Brahmin: Lungi and Kurta. He introduced himself to me by his name: Vasant Joshi. He said he had come from the USA. I guided him to the main office to meet Osho’s secretary, Ma Yog Laxmi. He was ushered into her office.
After a day or two he was initiated into Neo Sannnyas by Osho and received his new name, Swami Satya Vedant. Since then we have been together as soul mates, and our main work/play has been sharing Osho’s vision through publication of Osho’s books and communicating with the media. We worked closely with the feeling of a natural intimacy. And we happen to share our birth date: 5th of May. He was 9 years older to me.
Satya Vedant had not been keeping well for the last few years. Despite of that he was always passionate about travelling and continuing to share Osho’s vision whenever and wherever he had the opportunity. I appreciated his immense tirelessness, even when in poor health.
On 2 March this year, he had 3 heart attacks and remained confined to his hospital room and later stayed at Osho Dham for two weeks. I came to Osho Dham twice this month to be with him. Now I am at Osho Dham again as we are having the Osho Enlightenment Day Celebration for 5 days.
Today at 3.00 o’clock in the morning Swami Satya Vedant left his body. It is full moon of the Holi festival. He merged into the oceanic consciousness with celebration all around. It is a blessing, during such moments, to be surrounded by so much meditative and supportive love energy of sannyasins; the journey to the further shore becomes a real pilgrimage.
He was a blessed one, indeed.
On Kenya Safari, Swami Vedant Made Big News for Osho
by Anand Kul Bhushan (20.3.2022)
Working non-stop with his total energy for 45 years to share Osho’s vision, Swami Satya Vedant left his body on 18 March 2022. A huge group of sannyasins accorded him a royal farewell with music, dance and meditation at Osho Dham, New Delhi.
Thirty years ago, in March 1992, Satya Vedant visited Kenya and made a mega media impact by sharing Osho’s vision. News coverage started before he landed in Nairobi and continued right through his month-long tour. As Chancellor of the Osho Multiversity in Pune, India, his distinguished academic achievements as a university professor in the USA became his impressive asset.
His Nairobi visit came three years after the creation of a unique Osho environment project, Osho Teerth Park in Pune, which transformed a filthy, smelly, barren land with a black-sludge stream full of engine oil from the nearby railway yard and waste from bordering slums. The Osho Commune transformed it into a lush, forested park with a sparkling water stream, tropical greenery and hidden meditative spaces.
Satya Vedant’s visit made headlines in Nairobi, the world headquarters of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and HABITAT, two global organisations concerned with environment. The documentation of Osho Teerth Park had attracted tremendous attention as a template to transform other neglected locations and was thus presented to these global bodies.
So, Swami Vedant’s meeting with the then UNEP Director General, Dr. A. Ramachandaran, became a major news story. When he addressed the Kenya Institute of Medical Research (KEMRI), he spoke about AIDS which was then sweeping the world. Talking about medicine and meditation, he said medicine treated the physical disease while meditation treated the patient’s mind and soul as well. The two highlights of his media interaction were a live 45-minute Press Conference on national television and a two-page article on Osho Teerth Park in a major Kenya newspaper.
He addressed a well-attended meeting of local professionals at the Premier Club, and of other organisations. He presented a slide show of the Osho Teerth Park at the Kenya National Museum followed by a visit to the seaside town of Mombasa where he addressed two meetings. Plus, he conducted numerous meditation sessions for Nairobi sannyasins.
The climax of his visit was O-Show, a book exhibition at a Nairobi five-star hotel inaugurated by the then Indian High Commissioner. All this coverage was documented in a special report ‘Osho in Africa’. Such was the record of this media coverage that when he shared it with friends, he was invited to attend the Rio Environment Conference in Brazil three months later.
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O my… Swami Satya Vedant was such a blessing for me and Anasha while in Pune 1 & 2, & on the Ranch – or wherever we met… and of course what he contributed to Osho’s Sangha, and Osho’s Commune relations with the outer world, was immense…
As I was acting Director of the International Academy of Healing Arts while Osho was in the body in the late 80’s, Vedant and Neelam would always include me when the “Friends of Osho” visited the Commune. This was an honor and precious gift for me.
Vedant was always thinking about “how can we spread the good news of Osho’s Vision?” Once, shortly after Osho left his body, we were talking and I mentioned that I was going to San Diego with Anasha to visit my Father. His eyes opened wide, and he said, “Aha. That’s where Deepak Chopra has his Center. Let me give you this new book, “From Medication to Meditation” of Osho. And give him warm regards from me. We have had some nice conversations at gatherings here in India, or abroad.” So, we presented Deepak with the book, and he commented how much he liked and respected Vedant – and he also really appreciated and benefitted Osho’s vision.
I experienced Satya Vedant as a very balanced man, a Man of Samyama… beautiful Mind, beautiful Heart, beautiful Being. He understood many mysteries, including “Shaktipat”, while remaining down to Earth and simple. Plus, he had an amazing singing voice! I am tuning into Vedant right now and feeling inner peace. Thank you, Beloved Friend… keep flowing on and on…
Beloved Vedant, I will always remember you, especially the time when you took over from Osho to give energy darshans in Pune 1. It was a surprise, because very few people knew who you were, but Osho did, and when you touched my third eye, I felt Osho flowing very strongly through you. I felt even then that you were so very special and I have had a deep love for you ever since. I know you are now dancing in the universe, full of light and joy.
Beloved Vedant. I feel blessed having met you on this planet. Thank you for your generosity and your confidence. When receiving me in Ahmedabad. When I got one of your books for review. And when you were answering my numerous mails loaded with questions to find out about your understanding of this and that.
Thank you for writing one of the most balanced and insightful biographies on Osho ‘The Luminous Rebel.’ And for being a rebel yourself in the academic world, when spreading the light of Osho in dull and formal chambers and remote corners throughout the world.
And thank you for following your feelings also when choosing to leave as you felt you were not welcome anymore among trusted notabilities. For your humble and decent way of meeting your friends.
In short: thank you for your blessed contributions all along in the meandering ways of Osho’s caravan.
The Story You Forgot to Mention:
I wish I could say I was sorry to hear my father passed away, but how do you feel that when he walked out on his wife and two children over 30 years ago? He never contacted his children in all those years. The hypocrisy of his life will be his to reconcile with in death.
I think adding his actual life story is important. Whitewashing his life is offensive and should be against the tenets of Bhagwan/Osho.
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