A Meeting with Osho’s first Disciple, Ma Anand Madhu

Reality is stronger than Poetry, a rendezvous with Ma Anand Madhu. (first initiated disciple of Osho)

On the last day of our 3 days retreat in Rishikesh, my doctor friend Swami Dhyan Saurav and I found a good looking papaya from our recently discovered leisure stroll on the bank of Ganges. We decided to buy it for Arun Swami and took it to the Ashram where we were staying. When we arrived at the Ashram with the fruit, an unknown man above Swamijee’s room told us that he had left in a car with a sannyasin.

A car on the Ashram side of the Ram jhula (the bridge) was already a rare sight and Swamijee leaving in it made us curious. We inquired of the other sannyasins, and came to know that he had left to see Ma Anand Madhu, the first initiated disciple of Osho. After waiting for hours, two Swamis arrived at the Ashram to tell us that Arun Swamijee had called us to see Madhu Ma. A 30 minutes tempo ride to the main city of Rishikesh brought us to the city chowk, where our maroon clad convoy scattered to buy their presents for this long waited meeting.

I decided to go empty hand, firstly, because I had no money and secondly, because I was too overwhelmed to think of a present. When we finally arrived at the Ashram where she resided, my pre-imaginations were satisfied with the settings of the location, very close to the Ganges and on the brink of the town. The cemented stairs took us to her room and we entered a scene where a beautiful old lady in orange Saree and shawl was waiting.

Madhu Ma portrayed divinity as a personal bearing, the innocent smile, the simple gesture and the comfortable ambience around her was plainly clear even to a bystander like me who was having his first experience with her. The way she greeted us with the word Osho, only spoke of her undying gratitude and love for the Master. The interest and joy she showed even in the minutest of things reflected her love of life. We could not help being influenced by her strong presence that embraced each of us that were present there. Looking around at the face of the sannyasins, I realized that all of us were having the same experience, overpowered by the grace of utmost simplicity.

Madhu Ma was innocence in flowering which only demands innocence in return. Her presence allowed each of us the comfort of being ourselves. She joked about everything and her laughter seemed to honour life as never before. With a childlike adoration she praised Arun Swami for his lifetime devotion in bringing Osho into the lives of many and called him her beloved son.

Like an old grandmother she told us the story about how Osho had chosen Arun to color Nepal red and repeated the words used by the Master to instruct him. And as she spoke, it seemed that Arun Swami and Madhu Ma were again living those poignant moments, giving tears and smiles to most of us watching these beautiful beings.

When the stories had been told, Madhu Ma called her caretaker and asked her to bring some sweets and snacks. She stubbornly wanted us to finish each bit and then sing a song for her. Like a child playing with her dolls, she divided us into four groups and gave us the sweets to eat and to take home, which each of us eagerly devoured and pocketed. She demanded that if we didn’t sing she would go back to sleep. We joyfully obeyed for none of us wanted to miss this beautiful opportunity of being with her. As we started singing old Osho kirtans, Madhu Ma closed her eyes as she merged into the purity of love for our beloved Master.

Mystcism lives in Madhu Ma in the most human form. So human like and yet so divine. Although grounded into the depths of life, her being lives in the open sky of boundless freedom. Ma Anand Madhu is a presence that can only be understood when one understands the absence that surrounds her. This visit has helped me understand at least a fragment of what Swami Arun frequently repeats, “reality is stronger than poetry” I also realized that it is much more beautiful!

As Madhu Ma unexpectedly ordered us to leave, she gifted each of us a memory of the most beautiful things, the simplicity in her eyes, the gratitude in her smile, and the love of her being.

Swami Aatmo Neerav

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17 Responses to A Meeting with Osho’s first Disciple, Ma Anand Madhu

  1. Wow! what a wonderful description, thank you Neerav
    I have also met her and i agree 100% with you. It was such a wonderful experience, and reading your article, all the memories are revived.

  2. amrito says:

    yea, the more experiences in life, the better! So hopefully I get to have an experience meeting Ma Anand Madhu as well! Very well written Sw. Atmo Neerav!

  3. Atmo Neerav says:

    Thank you Amrito!

    Osho works so uniquely with everyone and Madhu ma’s life is a strong example.You should definitely see her. In the early years Madhu Ma was responsible for arranging and organizing meditation camps for Osho. One day when Osho unexpectedly asked her to go to Rishikesh and remain there in silence, she instantly left everything and went to Rishikesh and never left the place. I am not exactly sure but she was in silence for 12-13 years. And for many years she was meditating in absolute silence, meaning not seeing, listening or talking to anyone. The ashram people used to knock at her door and leave the food outside, she would open the door after five minutes and then take the food. I dont know if this would be the appropriate method for other sannyasins, but with her the consequences could not be more beautiful. Even after meditating so severely there is not even a trace of spiritual ego in her. When sitting with her one can only feel an overpowering presence of love and easiness. One english word that really compliments her personality is simplicity (at its utmost).


  4. Chetna says:

    Oh Neerav, I remember that day very well. Your article is very beautiful and of course much could not have been expressed in words.

    I remember when I saw her in Oct 07 she took my hand and said: “You are very very lucky that you have met Arun sw. I remember how much importance Osho gave to Arun in early days and I could never understand what he had seen in that young boy then (Arun sw was a student I think in his early twenties).”

    She also advised to meditate regularly and to be aware as much as possible throughout the day and IT will happen.

    She added that one, of course, can only try.

    I am very grateful to her and Arun sw. These people truly inspire and their presence is a proof that there is something outhere…..

    With Love

  5. Aatmo Neerav says:

    I know Chetana,

    there is so much about this meeting that can never be expressed in words. We had so much fun then.
    You know after meeting her, when we came back, the impact remained for more than a month. I would always want to write about her, but i know that its impossible to confine her beauty in words.

    N congratulations for opening the center. I read ur article about Osho Sambodhi Center at Osho in Uk. Ur doing a great job.

    Miss u alot n specially those aura jokes…. wuts ur color now?

    Love and Hugs,

  6. Heraclitus says:

    A worthwhile description. Cant help feeling that Madhu rather tired of the seeming obsequiousness of her visitors, as Neerav is honest enough to say the meeting came to an abrupt end.
    Why dont the Nepal people encourage Madhu to wirte something herself. It would be very interesting to hear about what Osho said when he sent her to Rishikesh, and also how she experienced her 12 years of silence.

  7. Chetna says:

    As far as I know she stopped seeing people due to her health, but kindly accepted/maybe still accepts visitors from Nepal or those associated with Arun Swami.

    Arun Swami knows quite a bit about her life as has been visiting her for a number of years (fascinating stories). She loves him very much (it was so obvious). I think Arun has written some articles about her life. Tapoban guys, do you have something translated into English!? It would be of great value.

    What stayed in my memory is her relationship with my favourite saint Mastram Baba (Rishikesh). Mastram Baba supporter her throughout tough times when she stayed in silence (it is not a joke to remain in silence for 15 years). At times she felt that Osho was not supporting her, even left her, but Mastram Baba was encouraging her, assuring that Osho is her Master and looking after her. (Please, forgive me for possible misinterpretations. This is how I remember the story).

  8. Aatmo Neerav says:

    Yeah Chetana,

    She rarely meets anyone, but still gladly welcomes people from Nepal. I think its because of her health.
    Whenever She used to feel that Osho was not supporting her she used to go to Mastaram Baba (i love him) n he used to say to her that Osho was always looking after her and was arranging for everything, making sure she is not disturbed in her meditation.Chetna u didnt misinterprete, thats what Madhu ma said to Arun swami.

    Madhu Ma doesnt like giving interviews or writing anything. A reporter friend of mine was scolded by Madhu ma when she asked to take her interview. I’ll try to find the articles by Swami Arun on Madhu MA.

  9. Aatmo Neerav says:

    Other things that i know about Madhu Ma is that her husband was also into Osho before Osho gave sannyas to Madhu Ma. His ego got hurt that Osho gave sannyas first to his wife, so he left Osho. Madhu Ma was from an affluent Gujrati family and she was also a principal at a college, by profession, i think her family’s college. Morarji Desai (indian politician) tortured Osho and gave him troubles because Osho initiated a lady from his family into Sannyas.

  10. dhyan saurav says:

    ….it’s a sunny morning on the banks of the river Ganges, and, like the past few days, our day has started with excitement … playing around in maroon robes on the narrow lanes of Rishikesh, smiling with the stoned sadhus and dancing along with the holy music played in the music-shops…. at noon , when we return for lunch, there is a surprise waiting for us….my sannyasin friends are excited about going to see some Madhu maa, whom I have never heard of before….I am tired and cherishing a good afternoon nap. But Nirav’s getting awfully excited , and he drags me, and out of curiosity I am going with the group…on the way I am being told that she is the first disciple of Osho but still I am not excited. I am still dreaming of myself having a good afternoon nap.…through the banks of The Ganges and then a small house, I am lazily climbing up through dark and silent stairs to a room….what i feel inside wakes me up from my dream…. suddenly my group disappears and I am here with ma madhu….i am looking at her and I feel I have been waiting to be around her for years and years and here she is…. soon we are all singing and the room gets filled with vibes of love…I find myself falling in love with her….
    Many months have passed, and I still don’t know much about ma madhu’s life than what Nirav has written about….the banks of river Ganges, a silent dim-lit room, a silent wooden chair , a lady in orange saree, and the moment I looked at her and fell in love…the moment that has remained here within me, throbbing more and more with love , as I go in , as I remember Osho…

  11. Aatmo Neerav says:

    Actually I edited the first paragraph of this article before posting it. After meeting Madhu Ma, the next day we were returning back and it was Valentines day. So Saurav asked me, “Whom do you want to date today?” i had only one name in my mind. I had fallen so much in love with her that i took Madhu Ma’s name. And this is exactly wut i felt inside. She would be the most beautiful date and very comfortable too. And Saurav was going thru the same thing, he also wanted to date her. I think its almost impossible not to fall in love with this lady once u meet her.

  12. dhyan ayushma says:

    really nice!!!! i like it.

  13. Heraclitus says:

    Easy to date an old lady Saurav. Looks to me like you need a juicy young ma who you need to earn the love of. Yours is a lazy valentine!

  14. Aatmo Neerav says:

    I came to know a few more things about Ma Madhu that she had told to Swami Arun. In the early days Osho used to ask all his disciples to stay in silence for 21 days. Then Madhu ma was the chief co-ordinator of the Ashram. After the 21 days of silence, Madhu Ma really liked it so she asked Osho that she wanted to go into silence for 3 months. Osho wanted more work from her for the ashram, however he let her go into silence. Then Madhu ma became so joyful that she wanted to go into silence for a year in Rishikesh on the bank of the Ganges. So she asked Osho for permission that she wanted to go to Rishikesh and remain in silence after the Master’s day celebration in July. It was the month of March, seeing Madhu Ma’s spiritual progress and her love for the mountains and the Ganges, Osho said “Why do you want to wait for four months. I am ready to bless you right now.” He gave her his shawl and said that whenever you miss me, wrap it around you and gave her the permission to leave for Rishikesh.

    After that for three years, she remained in silence watching nothing but the Ganges from her room. Then she remained in silence for fourteen years. She came out of silence after many requests of Swami Arun and other old sannyasins, as they needed her guidance and help. Even today she meets very few people and is in silence most of the time.

  15. Bodhi Deepika says:

    Very nice written, Neerav.
    I can feel the warmth and love that all of you must have felt that day, through your words.

    Keep writing ( and flowing ;-) …)


  16. can someone please tell me if Anand Madhu is still in Rishikesh?? says:

    can someone please tell me if Anand Madhu is still in Rishikesh? Why is she holding Baba Maharaj’s photo? Was she is a devotee of baba or Osho?

  17. premgeet says:

    can you pls guide for the Ma Anand Madhu’s location in Rishikesh on the bank of the Ganges……..

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