A frail, smiling and dynamic lady, Osho's Secretary, Ma Yog Laxmi, was totally surrendered to her spiritual master - an unmatched example for all disciples. For her birthday on 12 February, Swami Anand Kul Bhushan recalls her memories. Osho says, "Let go ego." Ma Yog Laxmi let it go entirely.
If you asked a routine question, “How are you?” to Ma Yog Laxmi, the former Secretary of Osho, her answer would startle you, for she would reply, “Laxmi is fine.” If she was unwell, and you asked her the same question, she would reply, “Laxmi’s body is in pain.” If she was hungry, she would say, “Laxmi is hungry.”
She always spoke about herself in the third person. Small and frail but full of energy and always beaming a broad smile, Laxmi would intrigue most people who met her for the first time, by always referring to herself in the third person. Many people wondered why she followed this strange way of communicating about herself.
To understand, indeed appreciate, this style requires the insight of Osho who has always talked about the real self being different from the body or the mind. ‘You are not the body, nor the mind’, says Osho. Really? Yes, suppose if, unfortunately, one loses a limb, the person can still go on living.
Thus, you are not the limbs. It’s the same with some organs in these days of transplants, the person can still live. So you are not the limbs or the organs but we all identify ourselves with them as our body and keep on saying, “I am unwell”; “I am in pain” or, “I am hungry.” Hence, by referring to herself in the third person, Laxmi did not identify herself with her body.
Then, you are not the mind either. In response to any situation – encouraging or disappointing - Laxmi would say, “His Grace”. Now what does this mean? It means that Laxmi had fully surrendered to her Master and his will. When something, positive happened, she would credit it to Osho by saying “His Grace” and rejoice. When something negative took place, she would remain the same and say, “His Grace” and still rejoice; thus implying that it was part of the grand scheme of things and had to be accepted fully in the same style without bringing her mind into it and drawing her own conclusions. It was her way of saying ‘Total Yes’. That is also the way to show that you are not identified with your mind.
Then one can focus on the real you for the real you is not the body or the mind. Ma Laxmi brought these concepts into her daily life with the unconventional but unique method of referring to her in the third person by separating her body and mind from her real self.
Despite working for long hours, she had a special method of withdrawing into herself by staying in her room for a few hours, sitting or lying silently with closed eyes. All the time, she was seemed far away but very alert if anyone came inside or called her. If she went for a walk in a park with someone, the first rule was to stop talking as soon as she entered the park and take in fully nature. This was in contrast to most people while walking in the parks, keep on talking between themselves and miss the beauty and wonder of nature around them.
Her real aim was ‘Walking Meditation’ or ‘Zen Walk’. This happens when you walk slowly and deliberately, placing one foot in front of the other. Your attention is placed on the feeling of walking: You notice how your feet touch the floor, how your muscles contract and relax as you take each step. If you make a misstep, simply experience that and let it pass. If your mind wanders, return your attention to the slow, deliberate movement of ‘just walking’. The basic points for Zen walk are:
1. Walk mindfully, keeping your awareness on your immediate surroundings or on your own breath as you walk.
2. Walk slowly, toe to heel, savoring each step as a gift.
3. When your mind begins to wander, draw your awareness back to the present and what is happening now.
4. As you walk allow creation to speak to you. Notice the trees, sky, flowers, birds, water, stones.
Her focus was always her master. Coming from a wealthy family, she was drawn to Osho at an early age in her youth and attended his discourses and a number of meditation camps. Then she became his disciple by taking sannyas, leaving her family and devoting her full time to his work. When she was appointed his secretary in the 1970s in Mumbai, many people started to come to him from all over the world. His work was expanding very fast and she had to look after appointments, media relations, publishing his books and thousands of other chores, an important one being maintaining a constant flow of books that he read all the time. In a week, he could read almost a hundred books!
She realized that due to his weak health, heavy workload and a great expansion of his work, he needed more space and a better climate to move away from Mumbai; and she located a suitable venue in Pune and organised the move to establish his ashram in Koregaon Park. Here, the work expanded manifold in a mater of few years as thousands came every month to be with him from all over the world. Ma Laxmi was managing the ever growing and complex management operations from dealing with legal and financial matters, publishing, security, acquiring and improving more accommodation, publishing his books and magazines, dealing with the media from all over the world, responding to controversies and queries, and a thousand other details…all under his guidance. And in all the action around her, she was the calm centre of the storm. No wonder, during one survey, ‘India Today’ listed her with one of the most powerful women in India, in the company of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi!
Ma Laxmi remained unchanged in her attitude of ‘total yes’ whether she was working as his secretary, or living by herself and battling cancer. What was her secret? Witnessing. Osho says, “Witnessing is the master key to all the mysteries of existence and life.” Laxmi certainly used this master key.