Reaching back once again to those magic seventies years, twiddle your grey cells and you will remember those beautiful blond Dutch sisters, Ma Prem Aranyo, Ma Prem Atulya and Ma Prem Vardan.
Here, Aranyo tells us about her life with Osho, starting in the early seventies until now:
I came to Osho in a deplorable state. My sister Atulya had kind of dragged me with her to India in 1974, as nothing else worked anymore to get me out of my hopelessly lost state. I seemed successful from the outside, freshly graduated from university as a Doctor of Sociology, having a husband and a lovely baby boy, living in a dream house on the countryside etc. – yet I found myself utterly depressed. At some point my house burned down, and my sister gave me all her clothes because she had just taken sannyas; she was wearing only orange. This was strange, because my sister was particularly fond and caring about her clothes, and now this…giving it all away. When I met her, she looked radiantly happy in contrast to me, poor heavy me.
When I dragged myself before Osho, he asked me how I felt. I bluntly told him that I did not want to live anymore. He immediately said: “From now on you do only what you like, and never what you don't like. Take all the consequences, even if you have to suffer for it. It’s your birthright to live your own life, it’s YOUR life and I give it back to you.”
He also told me that I would never leave him, and would always stay with him. This is perfectly true, if you do not mistake Osho for his body.
I lived in Pune for three years until 1977. Osho gave me two groups to do: Encounter and Tantra. They changed my life! Also, for three years I did the Dynamic Meditation, because there was a lot of aggression in my subconscious. I worked under Deeksha in Vrindavan kitchen as a cleaner, and then also in the bakery. Later when I lived for a year in Rajneeshpuram, I was again in the cleaning department! I worked very hard and had many boyfriends. My best girlfriend at that time was Ma Deva Kanccha.
I have enjoyed cleaning a lot! My Dutch friends could not believe that a just graduated sociologist like me was actually cleaning toilets in India. But miracles happened in the Buddhafield – to me as to everyone else!!
I visited Pune 2 every year during winter for a few months, and after Osho’s physical departure in 1990, I continued life as a half-baked cookie and came under the guidance of Poonjaji from Lucknow. I had been invited to come there by my girlfriend Mahadevi from Holland (aka Kanccha) and went there in 1993; Papaji gave me the name Yashodara and in his presence I learned to deepen my devotion. He also gave me and my husband DevaPrem a mission; singing mantras and bhajans. He named it ‘Vrindavan Music College’. Also, he said that we were world-famous people, which we of course did not quite believe at the time. The moment we started making an effort to become 'world-famous' we lost it all! Our marriage broke up in 1996 and our business died with it. By that time we had made four mantra CD’s, some of them quite lovely, but not competitive for world famous market standards.
During the very difficult period of my life when all the loving, flying had stopped and the painful reality of divorcing came, I met my third teacher in 1997; this time a Dutch Advaita teacher, Douwe Tiemersma. At this point all experiences melted into their source and were recognized by some mysterious force as Myself! After that my teacher told me that the search was over, and indeed life is now happening effortlessly, as 'intheheart'.
I live in a village near Amsterdam, Mijdrecht. I am happily lost again and live a retreated life. But now I do know myself as the whole, as the wind in the trees, as the noisy neighbors, as the body aging and falling apart slowly. And especially as the song in the heart of everything.
I still feel that I will sit down one day and write a book about all my experiences from this very rich life, as a token of gratefulness towards the One Master.
Nowadays Aranyo continues to play music, in particular with the band ‘Intheheart’, which was launched one and a half years ago and directed by her, Aranyo-Yashodhara-Tonke. Most of the musicians who are playing and singing are old sannyasins who started their journey in Pune with Osho, and had their first glimpses of themselves in the ashram in Pune around 1976, like saxophonist Joep (Smeenk) and his brother, bass guitarist Vincent (Smeenk), percussionist Arjuna, and lead singer Shakti (the latter two took sannyas about ten years ago from ShantiMayi).
Aranyo explained, “We do not ‘perform’, we sing from the heart, naked, just as it comes, with all our devotion, with all our dual flawed stuff, to be burned in the fire of love as an offering.”
Last year the group performed at a yearly new age festival in Vierhouten, Holland, a gathering of thousands of people, for healing, spirituality, shamanism, and therapy, called ‘Eigentijds Festival 2010 – Mantra concert 'In the Heart'. They are invited to play again at next year’s festival.
Far away from Holland, almost diagonally across is the land ‘down-under’ (south of the equator that is), Australia. This country has many very interesting places and natural wonders. One of them is Uluru.
Just say this word out loud uːluːˈruː and pronounce it slowly – u l u r u – it has a fascinating rolling vibration, as if a chant. Apparently the word has no particular meaning in the language of the local Pitjantjatjara people but maybe the original meaning got lost in the sands of time. Uluru is sacred to the aboriginal people in the area and there are many myths and legends that have been told throughout time. It has also been declared a World Heritage Site.
Uluru is also known mundanely as Ayers Rock and is a huge sandstone rock formation smack in the middle of Australia in a totally arid area. The nearest town, Alice Springs, lies 450 kilometers away, which in Australia is considered a mere hop (pun intended).
Uluru has a special relationship with color – the rock appears to change as different light touches it at different times of the day and particularly during sunset, when it glows read – an image most people have seen.
A rare event happened recently – torrential rain was pouring over Uluru and local photographer Peter Carroll managed to get there in the early morning to make these photographs, something he had been dreaming about for 20 years.
Osho says about the beliefs in ancient times, “In India, the god Indra has been worshipped for centuries. He is the god of lightning and clouds and rains. Even man has been sacrificed to satisfy him so that he does not destroy their crops, so he does not kill their animals, so he does not send those lightning thunderbolts to their villages. It is out of fear that all gods are born, out of fear and out of ignorance. So first, something about lightning....
IN ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS, THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE CHRIST, SOME PEOPLE BELIEVED THAT THUNDER AND LIGHTNING WERE DEMONSTRATIONS OF THE POWER AND WRATH OF THE GODS. IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY, LIGHTNING WAS THE WEAPON OF ZEUS, FATHER OF ALL THE GODS.
IN SOUTHERN AFRICA IT IS WIDELY HELD THAT LIGHTNING IS A BIRD. IN THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN, BOTH THE SUN AND THE MOON ARE MADE OF LIGHTNING BOLTS COLLECTED BY A TURTLE AS HE CLIMBED UP TO HEAVEN.
IN INDIA, INDRA WAS A STORM GOD, WIELDER OF THE THUNDERBOLT.
IN AUSTRALIA, ABORIGINAL MYTHOLOGY HAS IT THAT THE LIGHTNING MAN LIVED AT THE BOTTOM OF A WATERHOLE IN THE DRY SEASON AND IN THE WET SEASON HE RODE ON THE TOPS OF THE THUNDERCLOUDS. HIS VOICE WAS THE THUNDER AND HE STRUCK DOWN WITH HIS STONE AXES THE TREES AND THE PEOPLE.” OSHO Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Ch 3
In these photos you will see something about the magic and power that was unleashed at Uluru!