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