Born in 1927 in New York, U.S.A. Jeevan took sannyas in 1975 and left her body in August 2013 in Pune, India.

44 Prem Jeevan

In 1972, at the age of 45 and after I had raised four kids, my husband, Paul, and I moved into a Los Angeles commune where three of my teenage children lived. The commune was called Ellis Island, named after the place where the Statue of Liberty stands in the New York harbour. This is where immigrants from the old world arrived to seek a new life. This house, with 12 young friends (including my kids), welcomed us with love and curiosity. We lived collectively, with no hierarchy, meeting together once a week to deal with any difficulties that arose. Also at that time, I was in training as a Radical Therapist with a Women’s Collective in Venice, California, and living in this atmosphere was a great help for all the changes I was going through after 27 years of marriage.

There came a time when I wanted out of any family relationships. I had read many books, including Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous, and was blown away by it and Gurdjieff’s ideas as well. I was also influenced by David Cooper’s Death of the Family. In this book, this anti-psychiatrist colleague of R. D. Laing describes communes where “someone knows and everyone knows he knows.” After a year of living at Ellis, I moved into a VW van to live on the road in California, wanting to find that kind of teacher alive.

Before we moved to Ellis Island, Paul and I were in many other relationships; we created an Open Marriage. We had joined a group in California called Synergy, which involved alternate ways of relating, and we enjoyed and worked at keeping what he and I had while at the same time enlarging our sex life… dealing with the jealousy and possessiveness that is marriage. So when I left him to travel my own way, both in a separate room in Ellis at first and then into the van, many women were in his life who were lovers of mine as well. I might add that he also became a sannyasin, Chetan Udita, many years later.

I had a boyfriend then who was spouting some interesting ideas, and he recommended I go to the Living Love Centre in Berkeley, California. The teacher there was a beautiful paraplegic in his fifties, Ken Keyes, Jr. He had written a book called Handbook to Higher Consciousness which impressed me.

When I arrived there, they all looked so beaming and were singing happy songs, but because I was still pretty miserable, I didn’t trust them and didn’t join in that day. But I did sign up for a group to happen a couple of weeks later. Meanwhile, as part of the preparation for the group, I had to memorize twelve very difficult ‘Pathways to Higher Consciousness’.

I arrived on a Friday evening to start the group, parking my van in the lot. The first thing we were instructed to do was to take mattresses to board up the windows and doors all over the huge meditation room. The second thing we were told was to take off all our clothes! Then the facilitator explained this Rajneesh Chaotic Meditation in five stages. And we began! Boom Boom Boom!

I did the meditation as totally as I was capable of, and at the end I couldn’t stop sobbing. I must have continued crying the whole evening while the group happened around me. I had not been aware of how much grief I was carrying. That meditation changed my life.


The next day, my first question was, “Who or what was this Rajneesh?” I sure knew what Chaotic Meditation was. And the answer came in the form of a gorgeous picture of this black-bearded god, and I fell in love with him at first sight. The next piece of the puzzle was in the form of the 1973 Rajneesh Newsletter, Tantra Edition, which included highlights taken from the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra along with a few letters he had written: these sealed my fate – I had found my master! And the rest is history, so to speak.

From that day on, I have never wandered from my path of love and gratitude for this man, and still much was yet to happen.

I was given an offer to live in the Living Love Centre, work there, and do groups there. We slept on cots in the basement of the house. Ram Dass, aka Dr. Richard Alpert, the ex-Harvard professor who had worked with Timothy Leary on their LSD experiments, was Ken’s mentor. I listened to many of his tapes and found them helpful and fascinating. I had yet to hear Osho’s discourse because I didn’t want to be disappointed by his voice. I learned to love Ken and the work that he was doing, supported by sannyasin caretakers, one of whom I became close to – Ma Samadhi from France. When I saw her dance one evening, I knew someone was ‘behind’ her… and of course it was Osho!

After a while, I still had the travel bug, so I was bound for Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, carrying Osho’s books and magazines with me, underlining them, and leaving them behind when I had finished reading them. Pune wasn’t yet on my agenda. I had a boyfriend I was chasing around who looked like Osho – a Persian Mexican – which took up a lot of emotional energy. And then came the day, after many exciting experiences, that he told me, “Shana, get the fuck out of my life!”

That shock devastated me and sent me to Swami Shanti Sagar in Santa Monica, with whom I felt a connection. We did Dynamic Meditation on the beach and returned to his flat. Getting out of my van, I broke my necklace with a fairy on it. When I got into the flat, he said, holding up a mala, “You can have this one!”

“No, not for me,” I replied, “too much like priests.”

“You belong,” he answered, and handed me two packages of orange dye!

That did it. After we showered, he and Shakti, his girlfriend, set up a little altar with an Osho robe and his slippers, candles, and incense. They stood beside me after he put the mala around my neck and I cried, feeling incredible joy: I had come home.

He told me to write my story and send it with my picture to Bhagwan, which I did. I received the answer two weeks later; it read as follows:

Beloved Jeevan,


We are happy that you have taken the jump into sannyas and are sending you the beautiful new name which Bhagwan Shree has given to you: Ma Prem Jeevan. Now completely forget the old name and just let life flow through you from moment to moment.

It is good that you are already wearing orange. Soon you will start to feel the blissful effect it has on your life. The orange life is a blissful dance.

Many things are happening here, and much is possible through being here – so come soon…

His blessings,

Ma Yoga Laxmi

By then, I had heard Osho’s taped discourses, adored his picture, read a few books that were then available, and here was my invitation to Pune. I was ready to go. I bought a ticket and was there within a month.

When I first arrived in Pune in February 1986, Osho was not well, so it was a few days before I could see Him. So walking into Darshan that night, and being called up to sit in front of Him, I was on a total high!

My first words to Him, “I think you’re dynamite!” were almost shouted to Him, and His eyes just went wide with, I guess, surprise, because I was also surprised at my reaction.

A dream came true, and I again fell in love with this beautiful man.

I never was afraid of him. He was like a beloved friend with whom I had fantasized before I came that we would sit on a park bench and chat. Perhaps it was my age, 48, that gave me permission to always be real with Him. Oh, glory to have been blessed in my life to have that happen!!

Osho (to a newly arrived sannyasin): “Something to say? When did you arrive?”

Jeevan: (a bubbling, extroverted, middle-aged American sannyasin) “About five or six days ago…and I’m really glad to be here.”

(She chuckles) I think you’re dynamite!

Osho (chuckling): “Very good.”

Jeevan: “I want you to tell me the truth about me… I think I’m great.”

Osho: “I already told you!”

Jeevan: “I know. I get all your messages…. It’s good to be here.

Osho: “You have been here long before you came.”

Jeevan: “I know that! I’ve been in your heart, and you’ve been in mine.”

Osho: “Good… very good, Jeevan!”

Osho assigned me many groups in the 1970s, and I poured myself into them. I stayed in Pune for six months and then left for Geetam Ashram in California, returning to Pune in 1977 to remain ‘forever’. And looking back on my life 34 years later, it is still so: I am Osho’s forever.

“In the East, the blessing of the master is very, very significant. The West has remained completely unaware of the phenomenon. The West knows teachers, not masters. Teachers are those who teach you about truth. A master is one who gives you the taste of it. A teacher may be someone who does not know himself, he may have learned from other teachers. Seek a master. Teachers are many, masters are few. And how will you seek a master? Just move. Whenever you hear a rumour that somebody has become enlightened, go and remain available. Don’t be much of a thinker, be more of a lover – because a master is found through feeling. A teacher is found through thinking: listen to the teacher, his logical appeal will be there, his arguments. Eat the master, drink the master. Listening won’t help because he is a living phenomenon; the energy is there. If you drink and eat him, then only you will become aware of a different quality of being.

A great receptivity is needed, a great feminine receptivity is needed to find the master. And if you are available and a living master is there, suddenly something clicks. There is nothing to do on your part – you simply be there. It is such a vital energy phenomenon that if you are available something simply clicks, you are caught. It is a love phenomenon. You cannot prove to anybody else, ‘I have found the master.’ There is no proof. Don’t try that because anybody can bring proof against it. You have found it and you know it; you have tasted and you know it. This knowledge is of the heart, of the feeling.”

Osho, Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Ch 6

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

Book Cover Past the Point