(8 November 1946 – 9 December 2022)
Deva Subodha (Roberto Scheibel) was born in Florence on 8 November 1946 and left his body on 9 December 2022.
Art and music had captured his attention already as a child. He remembered how as a five-year-old, while holding his mother’s hand, he stood mesmerised listening to a guitar player busking in the street.
At 15, he began his musical journey in Florence with a teacher, one of Andrés Segovia’s top students. When Subodha had an accident that involved his left arm, his teacher told him that it would almost be impossible for him to continue play the guitar. His passion for music, however, overcame all obstacles; he abandoned the classical guitar style and dedicated himself to his voice, his real instrument in fact, whilst playing the guitar to accompany himself singing.
His first years of adolescence and youth were lived out at parties of the so-called ‘Firenze bene’ (the posh Florence) but, as the rebellious spirit he was, he never felt at home in that milieu; he was looking for something that had more depth, but could not find it there.
After leaving scientific high school he enrolled in the Faculty of Psychology (as per his father’s wishes). However, he quit his studies shortly before graduation. He said that he was looking for ways to understand the workings of the mind, but had not found the answers he was looking for there.
It was the time of youth protests, in which he never actively participated, although he felt the allure of rebellion against the old social patterns. So he decided to follow the ‘American dream’ and moved to New York at the age of 23.
It was a dream that was soon shattered by the harsh reality to which he was not accustomed, having been born into a wealthy and extremely protective family. That distress gave him a push towards spirituality.
After three years he returned to Italy and continued his musical journey. In 1975 he received a contract from a famous record company and recorded a 45 rpm entitled ‘Cavalco il vento’ (Riding the Wind) and ’39 Strade’ (39 Streets). In addition to an important financial reward, the contract stipulated that he had to fully adhere to the market requirements of the time, such as dressing and combing his hair in a certain way, writing a certain number of songs, attending parties, all conditions that were not easy for him to accept.
In the meantime, through friends, he came across Osho’s meditations and started practising them. From that moment on, two paths opened up clearly in front of him: follow the path of the performer or abandon everything and embrace the inner journey.
The choice was clear; after a few months, he travelled overland to India and arrived in Pune where he met Osho, the man who would radically change his life.
After a few very intense inner experiences, he decided to take sannyas, and Swami Deva Subodha, Divine Simple Awareness, was born. Osho’s message to him was: “Be aware in every moment of your life, in everything you do, be deeply aware.”
Osho gave him the task to return to his home town and open a meditation centre, for which he gave him the name, Premyoga. The Florence centre was frequented by many seekers, with whom he shared his experiences of meditation and Osho’s teachings.
While the Master was still in the body, the attraction towards him was so intense that he periodically came back to India to be with him. In the meantime he left the centre in the hands of friends. The centre then gradually closed.
Meditation and music had always been the focus in his life, and it is also the great gift he is leaving behind.
His songs have accompanied our spiritual journey with Osho, beautiful devotional songs that, written and sung by him, reflect his love for our Master. His poetry and melodies celebrate life in the most profound way, a world of colours, harmonies and happiness that can only be captured by a meditator.
Subodha’s music is a roaring laughter of thanksgiving for the life that has been given to all of us.
Magnificent are his pieces like ‘Crystal Clear’, ‘Ocean of Joy’, ‘Butterfly’, which we all have heard in satsangs and celebrations, in centres all over the world.
Subodha left his body consciously. In repeated moments of intense presence, he left messages the likes of:
There is only love, the rest is just laughter.”
Text by long-time partner, Krisana, with the help of Muni (translated by Osho News). Thanks to Waduda for alert.
On Saturday, 17 December 2022, there will be a celebration dedicated to Subodha at Osho Miasto in Tuscany. Those who cannot participate in person can follow it on live streaming.
Subodha’s music on Osho News
- ‘This Precious Moment’ by Aneesha and Subodha – Review by Sanghamitra (May 2013)
- Listen to ‘This Precious Moment’ – Subodha and Aneesha share their tracks from their CD ‘This Precious Moment’ (May 2013)
Beautiful man, beautiful friend of Osho. He helped us to find the way.
Ciao amico caro
I met Subodha a year ago as we were part of the same group of meditators.
In one constellation I was his father. He used to be a painter and was in love with his son. He considered him as very talented and special. At that moment I didn’t know him so well but I had the chance to discover his beautiful voice and music very soon and came to know him deeper; a sincere man who doesn’t hide his feelings.
One evening when I was dj-ing, he came to tell me to watch the beat rate and the people in front of me. Even though the music I was playing was good, “it was not suitable for dancing,” he said. I remember I was about to skip the track and re-arrange my playlist but then I waited, breathed in deeply and decided to stick with my joy.
Few days later he came to apologize for his feedback. He said he was sorry for the interference. “Everyone is free to do whatever he likes.” He looked at me with profound eyes. It was not a statement said out of convenience; he really meant it.
I remember I had some conversations with him while I was visiting Krisana, his wife, a good friend of mine. One day while we were talking about star signs he explained to me that Scorpio, his sign, has three stages of awareness: the first is Scorpio, the second is Eagle, the third is Phoenix. I was struck by this; I didn’t know about it. “In which state are you now?” I asked. He smiled and did not reply.
I know now that he is in the third stage: the firebird that is reborn from its ashes.
In the last few days I kept on listening to his music that I didn’t know before; it was my way to stay close to him and accompany him in his transition. I couldn’t stop listening to his song ‘Butterflies’. On and on like a loop I kept on listening, singing and dancing.
At the death celebration in the Buddha Hall of the Istituto Osho Miasto, I placed a butterfly on every meditation chair. All the butterflies were painted by Surmani, Meera, Desy, Lochana, Sharno, Abha and me.
Bunches of colourful wings flew on the dancing sannyasins reminding us that everything is beautiful and impermanent, “and one day when the time is right we will turn into butterflies,”
Sei qui con noi
In tanti ora si ricorderanno
In tanti ora srotoleranno la pellicola del film della propria vita e ti ricorderanno
Hai donato tutto al tuo cammino, hai camminato con Osho per decenni.
Sei un amico, un padre, un fratello, un maestro, un compagno di viaggio e sempre insieme.
La tua musica, la tua melodia è con noi e per noi sei presente sempre , sei parte del nostro viaggio.
Mi auguro che si aprono gli occhi, che si apra il cuore perché gli amici, i compagni, non sono solo ricordi da ricercare quando lasciano questo cammino ma è qui e ora che andrebbero vissuti e amati.
Ti amo e le tue canzoni sono con noi.
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