Sagar (updated)

Journeys

(20 December 1944 – 26 November 2023)

Ocean of Peace

by Abhilasha

My beloved Shanti Sagar left his body, after a longer period of not being physically well, on November 26, 2023, around 4:00 am. He stayed true to the meaning of his name, Ocean of Peace. He was at home with himself. He went in a relaxed state, as far as I can tell.

The most part of the past 33 years we have been together. I first met Sagar in Poona, in the summer of 1990. A friend had introduced us, because Sagar had a room for me to rent, near the Commune. Needless to say that I liked Sagar so much better then the “not-so-appealing-looking” room. Looking into his blue eyes something in me knew… and the rest is history.

We took many trips to Poona and then to the US together, visiting the Osho Academy in Sedona, and then California, with Byron Katie & the Work.

For about 30 years we both called Amsterdam our home. Fast forward to…

A severe kidney problem surfaced in 2007 due to a not well-treated bladder/prostate situation. From then on, Sagar was under constant medical care. In 2020 he had a heart attack and underwent 2 surgeries, during which he received 3 stents which saved his life.

Physically, emotionally and spiritually he recovered very well and soon started with his daily routines such as brisk morning walks, giving sessions and continuing self inquiry through The Work of Byron Katie.

2023: Over the last 6 months, he stayed several times in hospital because of severe kidney problems, alongside with lung and heart problems. At the beginning of November he came back home from the hospital, where doctors had said to him, “Please do not come back.”

Sagar and Abhilasha
Sagar and Abhilasha

Back at home, I arranged for home care support, and a ‘hospital’ bed, as Sagar called it. The bed enabled him to sit up, and with the use of some extra oxygen, he could breathe, rest and sometimes  sleep more easily.

For the most part of these last four weeks he remained in a sitting position, either in bed or on a chair or sofa. He – no surprise here – firmly believed that he would survive his physical declining state. In my opinion he really stayed in a sane and healthy state, for the most part of it, although at times it was physically very challenging for both of us. At the same time, Sagar emanated so much peacefulness that gave energy and trust to everyone who was visiting during this time.

About 48 hours prior to his leaving, he seemed more relaxed about everything. He said to me, “Maybe it’s time to look into hospice care.” At that point he had stopped eating and was drinking very, very little. Up until 24 hours prior to his departure from this earthly plain, he managed, with my support, to reach the bathroom which was an enormous effort for him.

In the morning of his last day, I told him, after several trips to the bathroom, “Please stay in bed, I will take care of you for whatsoever you need.” This time he listened to me, and he stayed in bed. During the day he slipped further and further away.

I stayed up all night, most part in the company of my amazing, lovely sister who had travelled from Hamburg to be at my side, and stayed awake, except for that 1 hour between 3:40 and 4:40. During that hour his breathing stopped. Sagar had left for the other shore.

From morning onwards, a constant stream of friends and family flocked in. Three friends, all women, and me took care of washing his body and then dressed Sagar’s body in the most loving and beautiful way. White Robe, Osho’s socks, etc. I recall a feeling of total gratefulness to be able to do this for him, with dear friends and family as support and help.

Together with friends and family we had a short cremation ceremony which took place at Amsterdam’s most beautiful cemetery, at Zorgvlied, where Sagar enjoyed walking, too. The place reminded me a bit of Rajneeshpuram. It’s an open space, and we could bring the wooden stretcher with Sagar’s body, wrapped in a simple, very large white cloth and garnished with orange rose petals, up to the door of the burning chamber.

That’s were we held a simple and short celebration. Everyone present was invited to say something out loud or in silence and lay their flowers on his body. The door to the burning chamber opened and the stretcher with the body was rolled in. The door closed and the fire started. I could feel the walls getting warmer.

Later that day we had a lovely get-together with a few friends and family, at our dear friends’ house near the Vondelpark. We honoured Sagar’s life and love and toasted to his onward journey! There was a lot of love and tears… and gratefulness.

I say: to honor Sagar, let’s continue to celebrate life by going to the ocean… and by being at home with ourselves, in love.

I loved living with Sagar – for 33 years – and I am looking forward to my life ahead, without his physical presence.

I feel like a child at times, and in a space of not knowing.

Ma Deva Abhilasha

Shanti Sagar (S. Simon, born David S. Blumenthal) was a mental coach, therapist and facilitator of The Work™ of Byron Katie, and for over 35 years he had been working with individuals, but also leading workshops internationally. He was based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

In 1990 he met his beloved Abhilasha, also a therapist, and married her in November 2002.

Sagar had become involved with Byron Katie’s teachings soon after the Ranch in Oregon closed.

In the Pune One ashram, which he had joined in the mid-seventies, he was part of the Vrindavan kitchen fulfilling various roles. The name he had received from Osho means, ocean of peace and silence.

He grew up on the East Coast but did some of his studies in California, earning a Master’s Degree in Councelling Psychology. He later also trained as a Gestalt therapist, and Hypnotherapist.

He was a gentle person, with a lot of humour, a real mensch. He will be dearly missed.

Thanks to Vallabha for alert and help – changeyourmindchangeyourlife.org

Sagar’s last post on Facebook was this video:

The lotus and the rose

Osho’s answer to a question by Shanti

Why am I the way I am? I feel like the lotus who wants to be the rose.

So what is the trouble? So you are the lotus who wants to be the rose – and be it.

Whatever you are, you are. And it is to be accepted in absolute humility. Even if you are feeling that you are a lotus and you want to be the rose, so you are the lotus who wants to be the rose. What is is, and what ain’t ain’t! Relax into it, accept it, welcome it, and suddenly you will see a great peace surrounding you and a great silence arising in you and a great joy overflowing in you. We are missing joy because we are always trying to be something else.

Now, I can understand your question. I have been telling you, “Don’t try to be something else,” and I had told you, “A lotus is a lotus and a rose is a rose, and the lotus should not try to be a rose and the rose should not try to be a lotus; otherwise they will go neurotic.” That’s why you have asked the question.

You say, “I feel like the lotus who wants to be the rose.” So you are thinking you have asked a very relevant question, and I can understand why you feel that way, but listen to my answer: so you are the lotus who wants to be the rose – so be it. That’s what I mean: don’t try to be anything else. If this is you, then this is you. Now, you would like to try to remain the lotus and not to be the rose. But if that is coming naturally to you, you will create a tension in yourself. Whatsoever comes naturally is good, whatsoever comes of its own accord is good.

The question is from Shanti Sagar, and I can see the possibility of his deep acceptance of the fact. Accept it. If this is the way God wants you to be, then be this way. Then this is your destiny.
Once you start accepting things, tensions disappear, anxieties fall, anguish is felt no more. And to be in a state of no anguish, no anxiety, no tension is to be religious.

Osho, The First Principle, Ch 4

Tributes

Met this beautiful soul on the beaches of California in 1975, around 6am in the morning, where he was sharing this incredible method called “Chaotic, or Dynamic Meditation”, invented by a man named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

Shanti Sagar was a thread through the rest of my times, while Osho was in the body, crossing paths so often in the Communes. Then, in the 90’s, Anasha and I met up with Sagar and Abhilasha in Amsterdam – such a loving, funny, deep, and courageous Being.

I feel much love and deep respect for Shanti Sagar, and for Abhi…

Anubuddha

 

When I go, …
When I go,
don’t learn to live without me,
just learn to live with my love,
in a different way.
And if you need to see me,
close your eyes,
or look in your shadow,
when the sun shines,
I’m there.
Sit with me in the quiet and you will know,
that I did not leave.
There is no leaving when a soul is blended with another.
When I go,
don’t learn to live without me,
just learn to look for me in the moments.
I will be there.

by Donna Ashworth from Loss

 

Sagar and I became instant friends and confidants as soon as we met in ’76.

In life, you meet people who you forget and many who forget you. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your friends for live and they often hold a bond that is imperishable – one that time and distance cannot diminish. Sagar was that kind of a man and friend and though we hadn’t physically seen each other in many years, that connection remained.

Every deceased friend is a magnet drawing us into another world and reminding us, if we are present, of our own imminent demise. Appreciating Sagar’s way of living, loving, and helping all those around him to heal in their own way, will undoubtedly inspire us to do just a little bit better, to care just a little bit more and to keep in focus the important gifts that shower on us daily.

Sending love to his partner and all those who feel the pain of his departure.

Lovebaba Harideva

Such a beautiful man with a humongous heart, exploring truth via the Work of Byron Katie. In Poona 1, we used to call him ‘Stupid Sagar’ to distinguish him from ‘Proper Sagar’. He was never stupid, just innocent.

Fly High, my fellow traveller.

Deva Abhiyana

 

Sweet Sagar,

I worked with you in the kitchen in Poona 1…

You were always kind and had a great sense of humour, which was a huge asset working under “the dragon lady”…

Fly high beloved.

Love,

Haritama

 

Actually this is for you, Abhilasha. I hope you are at peace, though missing Sagar. I remember our last meeting in the Deen supermarket. Such a sweet conversation we had, while I was waiting for my taxi. I was so happy to see you two old friends after such a long time!

I send you much love from my heart.

Anuprada

 

Thank you Beloved Sagar. You lived a life of always listening to, and following the call to come home to your true self. This heart flows tears of love and gratitude to you for sharing your journey with me. You have been a friendly, kind, authentic and honest friend, companion and blessing on this amazing path.

I love Sagar!

Vallabha

 

Shanti Sagar was a lovely man, and is a beautiful soul. It is with sadness that I learn of his passing. It is with joy that I remember him and his life, and that he attained peace before his passing. He deserved it. I also would have expected nothing less of him!

I enjoyed every minute that I ever spent with him.

With all due respect to Deva Abhiyana, I wish to correct something in his tribute. His nickname was ‘Silly Sagar’. It was used with love and affection, and accepted in the same manner. And he was also not silly – but we did, however, need to make distinctions.

He is – and will be – greatly missed.

RamaPrem

 

I stand corrected. Silly Sagar was what he was called, and he was neither silly nor stupid. Just innocent.

Abhiyana

It has taken awhile and still my eyes fill as I write, this man has touched my heart so deeply. When I first changed to the kitchen from my job sewing in Padma’s room in Pune 1 – a bit of a transition – I had a little visit with him every day passing his little booth where he did the bank for the kitchen. We always had a laugh, and he would say something that made me remember the humor about it all, and calmed me…

Sagar is/was a dedicated disciple, always, and dedicated to the work. His calling was Byron Katie’s work with beliefs, he brought it with passion – and his transmission from the Master.

In Pune, Sedona, and Amsterdam we met throughout our lives…

I celebrate your love, your laughter, your dance, beloved Shanti Sagar!

Thank you for touching my life!

Maneesha McClure

 

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