Ma SOMADEVI (Soma means the moon, or the nectar from the moon. It is also the name of the moon god, and the elixir that created ecstasy when drunk by the ancient rishis. Devi means divine or goddess.)
Born in 1957 in Vohemar, Madagascar. Somadevi took sannyas in December 1977 and presently lives in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.

33 Ma Somadevi

I first heard of Bhagwan at 19 years old, when I went to Bordeaux, France, to start university studies. My boyfriend, Narayanadeva, came to join me there. He had taken sannyas previously and carried many books of Bhagwan with him. Narayanadeva and I had met in Madagascar when I was 17, still finishing high school. He had to leave the country because of a visa glitch, and he went to India.

Up until the time I left to go to France, I had been living a very enclosed and protected life with my parents and brothers. My early childhood was spent in Paris, where my father was doing his medical studies at La Sorbonne; then the whole family went back to Madagascar, where I spent my teenage years. Except for what I had read in books and what a fertile imagination conjured up, I had no exposure to any other kind of life except being groomed to be a good student and a good Christian. My parents were both doctors and highly valued academic achievement.

Behind the appearances, there was a very restless soul who knew there had to be something else to life than a good career and settling in a middle-class neighbourhood with a rich husband and children. But I had no idea what I was searching for, and during many very unhappy years, I fell into depression and suicidal thoughts again and again.

When I saw a picture of Bhagwan for the first time, I knew this man would change my life. The look in his eyes mesmerized me, and I would spend hours looking at it, unable to move or think about anything. Then I read the first book – I think it was My Way: The Way of the White Clouds – and it was like an instant recognition. It was like arriving at an oasis after being lost in the desert for years and finding a well of cool, pure water. With each page, I was coming back to life. I felt this man could read and decipher my most inner thoughts. For the first time, I was hearing what my heart had been yearning for something that my soul knew intimately but had lost all memory of. I had finally found something I wanted to live for.

There was no question and no hesitation in me about wanting to see him. I didn’t wait to finish my university studies and get my degree. I left with Narayanadeva after that academic year was over, and I remained in Poona for the next four years until Bhagwan left for the U.S.A.

India was challenging for someone who had never travelled before, but arriving at the Poona ashram was like coming home. We immediately went to the office and were welcomed by Ma Arup. She said, “One is coming back home, and the other is ready for sannyas!” I just nodded my head. She gave us a darshan appointment for a few days later, just enough to buy a few red clothes and try to get the smell from my hair and body. I didn’t do a great job since I had to wear a scarf but was permitted to darshan in the evening of December 6, 1977, in awe with all the new surroundings but strangely feeling some kind of déjà vu.

When my name was called and I sat in front of Him, Bhagwan simply told me to close my eyes and place my hands in prayer position in front of my chest. He told me to feel the wind blowing through me, and I heard Him as if He were whispering in my ears. Then He called Haridas to sit in front of me. Maybe it was to prevent me from falling, but I had already become a tree, firmly rooted in the ground, just feeling the wind gently blowing through my leaves. After what seemed like an eternity, He told me to come back and gave me my new name and the mala. I couldn’t remember a word that He had said at the end of darshan, but I knew I had received my true name and been initiated into something very precious indeed.

A poem from those days:

Only a wanderer on the face of this world

The caravanserai only stays overnight

And at the edge of dawn, is on its way again.

A beautiful place or a very dear face

And I linger for awhile.

But my hunger takes me away

To the dark path of the castaway

Who cannot settle down.

My destination is the unknown,

The voyage is endless,

With no map, no compass,

No luggage on my shoulder.

Bare feet, empty handed,

In the midst of the thunder and the rain,

A sudden lightning shows me the way.

And I know,

That my hunger is worth the pain.


My parents didn’t take very kindly to the fact that I had left my studies and disappeared in a spiritual community in India. They felt I had been abducted by some cult, and they wrote many angry letters to the ashram in the beginning. As one of the ashram organizers, Ma Arup told me to write them letters to explain the situation, and things quieted down. However, my father wrote me off as his daughter, and I didn’t get to see them again until 13 years later. Enough for today….

“…to do this technique start with a small step. Just sit under a tree. The breeze is blowing and the leaves of the tree are rustling. The wind touches you, it moves around you, it passes. But don’t allow it just to pass you; allow it to move within you and pass through you. Just close your eyes, and as it is passing through the tree and there is a rustling of the leaves, feel that you are also like a tree, open, and the wind is blowing through you – not by your side but right through you. The rustling of the tree will enter in you, and you will feel that from every pore of your body the air is passing. It is really passing through you. It is not only imagination, it is a fact – you have forgotten. You are not only breathing through the nose, you are breathing through the whole body – from every pore of it, from millions of pores. If you are allowed to breathe through your nose, but all the pores of your body are closed, painted, you will die within three hours. You cannot be alive just by breathing through the nose. Every cell of your body is a living organism, and every cell is breathing. The air is really passing through you, but you have lost the contact. So sit under a tree and feel.

In the beginning it will look like imagination, but soon it will turn into a reality. It is a reality – that the air is passing through you. Then sit under a rising sun, and not only feel that the rays of the sun are touching you, but that they are entering you and passing through you, so you become vulnerable, you begin to feel open. And this can be done with everything. For example, I am speaking here and you are hearing me. You can hear just through the ears, or you can hear through the whole of the body. You can just try it right here, just with a change of the emphasis: you are not hearing my words through the ears only, you are hearing me through the whole of your body. And when you really hear, and when you really listen, it is the whole body that listens. It is not only a part, it is not a fragmented energy that listens, it is the whole of you. The whole of your body is involved in listening – then my words are passing through you; from every cell, from every pore, you are drinking them. They are being absorbed from everywhere.”

Osho, Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 2, Ch 13

From the book, Past the Point of No Return by Ma Anand Bhagawati

Past The Point Of No Return

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