Ma Yoga Laxmi was born on February 12th, 1933 into an extended Jain family of cloth merchants in Mumbai. She was educated at a school based on the liberal principles of Rabindranath Tagore and later she worked for political and charitable organisations.
At the age of 34, Laxmi was struck by a virtual thunderbolt when she attended a talk by Osho, then known as Acharya Rajneesh. It was love at first sight, a love that endured. Laxmi became his secretary, his hands and his voice to hundreds of thousands of people world-wide. Throughout the 1970’s she dealt with prime ministers and superstars, the corporate and business worlds and above all the multitude that came to sit at Osho’s feet and build his budding commune.
She used laughter and teasing to let people know what was required or what was not okay. If that did not work she was an adamantine blade, swift and deadly. Nothing escaped those lucent brown eyes of that diminutive lady. For the world she was a role model of practical competence and spiritual grace; the perfect Sannyasin. But the ways of a master are unfathomable. There was much that Laxmi had to learn. Osho had her searching the length and breadth of India for land to accommodate the now mighty commune overflowing from its home in Pune. Despite her untiring efforts, every possibility of success was blocked by the politicians and religious reactionaries. Meanwhile, back in the commune, during her long absences, her role as secretary was usurped by the very assistant she had mentored and cherished.
Suddenly Osho was in America. Laxmi appeared to be betrayed and abandoned. Now begins the real work on her inner transformation. In her early days with Osho she had experienced a peak of meditation, a brief few hours when she saw with clarity that she was neither her body nor her mind. Thereafter she referred to herself always in the 3rd person or by her own name. The ‘I’ was banished. Now she must live that dis-identification. She must face rejection from the commune she has built. She must face being hunted, then blackmailed and mistreated by the American immigration authorities. And she must face her mortality through cancer of the intestine.
Laxmi’s love and trust for her master is constantly challenged and never wavers. His love for her, of course is absolute. Osho returns to India, having been poisoned by the American government. Laxmi finds him a temporary foothold and again fruitlessly looks for land. When he returns from his world tour she is once more expelled from the Poona ashram and must provide for herself and her family by starting a family Tiffin business. Her final years she is alone working tirelessly on herself and working for the propagation of Osho’s words and his work. “That is the only life that Laxmi has,” she tells a friend.
Laxmi’s life shines as an example of Osho’s teaching that Sannyas is a commitment to put everything at stake; to go into the unknown risking everything. Her transformation is the transformation that we all must undergo for humanities survival and fruition.
THE OTHER DAY I CAME THROUGH THE GATES WITH AN INDIAN SANNYASIN AND HE WAS TURNED AWAY BY THE GUARD WITH NO REASON GIVEN. WHEN I SPOKE TO LAXMI ABOUT IT, SHE MORE OR LESS TOLD ME TO MIND MY OWN BUSINESS. WHENEVER I SEE PEOPLE BEING UNJUSTLY TREATED, MY IMMEDIATE REACTION IS TO GO TO THEIR ASSISTANCE. IS IT REALLY NONE OF MY BUSINESS WHAT HAPPENS TO OTHER PEOPLE?
The question is from Ma Deva Tulika.
This is significant for everybody present here, and everybody who is going to be in any way related to me. Whatsoever happens in this commune happens according to me. I know who was turned from the gate. And the man who has been turned away knows why he has been turned from the gate. And it is none of your business to come into it. This you have to understand absolutely, that whatsoever happens here… I may not come out of my room, I never come out except in the morning and the evening, and I never go around the ashram — but whatsoever happens here is perfectly known to me, is happening according to me. Please don’t interfere. There are a few other people also like Tulika who are continuously interfering with the work. You are nobody to judge what is right and what is wrong. If you know it already you are not needed here, you have become enlightened — you go home.
This is none of your business to decide what is just and what is unjust. This is not an ordinary place so ordinary things won’t apply here. Some extraordinary experiment is on. I know what is somebody’s need. If I feel that somebody has to be rejected from the gate, he has to be rejected. If I feel that no reason has to be given, then no reason has to be given. That’s my device for his life and for his work. Now you should not come into it. If you start coming into it you will only lose your opportunity for growth. Guards have their duties, they know what they are doing. And I am in contact with them, with what they are doing. You simply bypass. It is not an ordinary place. Everything is looked after, and if somebody needs a hit on the head, he is given. You should not prevent it, otherwise you will be coming into his growth too, you will hinder him, and you will be hindering yourself. And you can get unnecessarily excited about it.
There are a few people — Padma Sambhava is one. They go on writing to me that this has happened and somebody has done this and this should not be. Here you are nobody to decide what should be and what should not be.
The moment you become part of my commune you leave everything to me; otherwise work will be impossible. Now I know the man who has been rejected and I know why he is rejected — and he also knows why he has been rejected. There is no reason to give any reason. If reasons have to be given for each and every thing, then my whole work will be simply to go on supplying reasons. There are thousands of people coming, and everybody has to be given reasons and explanations about everything? Laxmi is right. And always remember that Laxmi never does anything on her own. She is a perfect vehicle. That’s why she has been chosen for that work. Now I cannot choose Tulika for work, because she has her own idea what is right and what is wrong. Laxmi has no idea. She simply listens and does. Whatsoever is said, she does.
And you have to learn these ways, because soon we will be becoming a bigger commune and thousands of people will be coming, and these things have to be settled. You should not bring them again and again. Again and again you go on writing questions: “Somebody has done this….” That is for me to look to, and if I think that it is not right it will be prevented. You need not bring it to my notice even. You waste my time. And you get so excited…. There are some foolish people who have renounced their Sannyas because they saw something unjust was being done. Now they’re just losing their opportunity. It was not their business. You have come here for your own growth. This acceptance has to be total, only then work is possible, only then I can help you. Please don’t give suggestions to me. The moment you give me a suggestion, you are disconnected from me.
This is not going to be a democracy. You are not to be asked what should be done and what should not be done. This should be remembered from the very beginning — that this is not going to be a democracy. Your votes will never be taken. You become part of it with that knowledge, that whatsoever I decide is absolute. If you don’t choose that way you are perfectly happy to leave. People are prevented from entering but nobody is prevented from leaving. You can leave. Have you seen anybody being prevented from leaving? Leaving is perfectly free — you are free, that is your decision. If you want to be here you have to be totally here. If you feel that this is not the place for you, that your ideas are not being fulfilled, that it is not according to you, you are free to leave. This
place will never be according to you. This place is to change you, it is not to be according to you. This place is going to be a transformation for you.
And these are the beginnings. Who are you to know what is right and what is wrong? And who are you to ask for the reason? How do you come in?
The Indian who has been prevented, if he feels like asking he will come and ask. He has not asked because he knows, he has been told why he is being prevented. He has been a nuisance around here. But these things are not to be inquired about by everybody. And this is not good, that everybody should be told about this nuisance. This is disrespectful to him. He has been told, and he understands because he knows what he has been doing. Now YOU suddenly jump in. You think you are doing some great work, some great service. You think you are saving some person from some injustice. You don’t know the whole story. And you need not know the whole story, because who is sitting there to tell you all the stories about everybody? You decide only about your own self. This is a place where many things will never be according to you. You have to fall in tune with things. If you think that that is not possible for you, you are free to leave…But don’t go on writing to me. Whatsoever happens here is happening with my knowledge. Not a single thing happens here which is not known to me, so you need not inform me about things, I know them already. It is a sheer wastage of time.
And the moment you surrender and become an initiate, a sannyasin, that surrender has to be total. Just live a few months in that total surrender and you will see — it is alchemical, it transforms you.
New people come and they think, “What is the matter? The old sannyasins don’t interfere. Somebody is prevented by the guard and the old sannyasins simply go by. What has happened to these people? Do they understand or not that this is not right? Have they become apathetic, indifferent?” No, they have learned, and they have learned just like you. Slowly slowly they have learned that whatsoever happens is happening according to a plan, a device. There is some hidden pattern in it. And nobody except me knows what that hidden pattern is. So you cannot go to Laxmi, she does not know. She simply asks me what is to be done and she does it. You cannot ask Sant on the gate, “What are you doing?” He simply does what he is told to do.
If you are to be a part of this commune you have to understand this. You have to relax, you have to stop judging. Soon, after a few months of relaxation and acceptance, you will be able to understand.
That’s what has happened to the older sannyasins — now they understand.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
The Diamond Sutra
Chapter title: Already Home
28 December 1977 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘surrender, master, disciple, devotee, commune, acceptance’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Only Life
- The Revolution
- The Path of Love
- Satyam Shivam Sundram
- From Personality to Individuality
- Sermons in Stones
- The Osho Upanishad
- And The Flowers Showered
- Beyond Psychology
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4
- The Transmission of the Lamp