From The Journey of the Heart

Laxmi, Osho’s second secretary describes part of her search in India for an ashram to replace Poona.  She describes part of it here in the third person. Also the events that gave rise to Sheela’s rise to power by taking advantage of her long absence in 1981.

(SN collective remembers this time well, sannyaisns even bought train tickets to go to Kutch, and never used!  It was at this time Laxmi’s presence was mssed by many of us, as Sheela began to be in the ascendant. Osho was clearly ill when he stopped speaking in the Spring of 1981.  Street wise amongst us felt that the silence was a sort of convenience,  but there again, it did sort the intellectuals out, and many left! )

“Meanwhile in Poona overseas sannyasins,  particularly westerners, were repeatedly falling sick with amoebic dysentery, hepatitis, jaundice and problems as a consequence of the poor hygiene in India. Osho did not keep well either. He had a severe back problem. It was felt it was time for the ashram to be moved to a healthier climate in India. A hunt for land, more acceptable to Osho’s body began.


Laxmi traveled to and forth from Pune, Mumbai, Gujarat and New Delhi. There were a few properties in the Himalayas and Gujarat that were adequate. However the Indian government did not approve of an ashram close to sensitive and high security risk areas. As there were many overseas sannyasins, proximity of the Himalayas to China,  and Gujarat bordering on Pakistani territories respectively, the Indian government did not grant permits for an ashram in these states. However the Indian government did not spell this in so many words,  but dilly-dallied the issue for a long period. Unaware of this dilly-dallying,  Laxmi stayed out of the ashram for long spells in Mumbai, Gujarat and in Delhi, and for four months at a stretch in 1981, awaiting a decision.

Meanwhile back in Pune, owing to ill health Osho stopped discourses for the first time. He even stopped initiating neo sannyasins. In the spring of 1981, he announced that the last phase of his work had begun and it would be intense, concentrated and full of silence.

In search of a place for an Osho Ashram, Laxmi first went to Kutch, Gujarat as she was familiar with the area. For Laxmi it was interesting to return to Gujarat as her childhood memories were refreshed. She had spent a beautiful childhood here. Accompanied by two or at least one sannyasin, Laxmi would drive by road each day. If there were two sannyasins each one would drive for five hours at a stretch to be relieved by the other in turn. They would set out full of energy for the day at four each morning.  Laxmi particularly liked Wakaner Palace, a place in Morbi and Rajpipla near Kutch. A farm on about 20,000 acres with several lakes on the property and trees over 100 years old and  the palace was fpr sale. Negotiations commenced. It involved the owner, local community and state government. The consent of the local community was integral. Unlike in the west, bureaucracy in India worked at a snail’s  pace. Nothing seemed to move ahead.

Laxmi learnt much later since it was too close to the western border,  the government disapproved of the ashram in the vicinity. The government was concerned foreign agents would gain entry into the country in the guise of sannyasins easily. Being an international organization it was difficult to warrant this. However the Trust had no choice but to respect government policies. Later Laxmi learnt there was a possibility of nuclear testing in the zone. So she was glad that the project there failed.  Laxmi then went up country.

A frantic search began in the north, particularly near the Himalayas.  Osho had had said many a time that he loved to be in the Himalayas because of their spectacular beauty. Laxmi came across several palaces. As the Indianmaharajas were no longer rich palaces could not be maintained owing to exorbitant costs. Neglected for want of money they were in ruins now. However as soon as the owners learned that the Rajneesh Foundation was keen on their property,  prices shot up. There was a misnomer that the Foundation has loads and loads of wealth. This was not true. In fact Osho said currency must move regularly and not stagnate. Although there was a perpetual fund crunch the trust did not stop work at any stage. Even on this basis the ashram derived joy from work round the year. Barely was money received,  the trust disposed it off in minutes to meet expenses. Currency was always mobile. Money was barely seen and seemed to vanish in no time, but it generated a lot of creativity of sannyasins and non-sannyasin workers. Nevertheless the misnomer that the Foundation was fabulously rich persisted.”

extracted from “The Journey of the Heart” by Ma Anand Laxmi.

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47 Responses to From The Journey of the Heart

  1. Parmartha says:

    Human affairs often seem to turn on a single twist of fate.

    Had the Indian government not stopped the move to Kutch, or had Laxmi managed to find somewhere in the Himalayas, she would have surely remained Secretary. My own intuition is that Osho’s health would have returned in Kutch, or in the Himalayas. The Ranch was virtually in a desert, and that seemed to agree with him, so Kutch would have been the same.

    The Himalayas, say Simla, would also have agreed with not only him, but us all, and his movement would never have left India, which would have been his own preference.

    Such is life….

    • frank says:

      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these:
      ‘It might have been.”

      John Greenleaf Whittier

    • Arpana says:


      ‘Progoff’s Intersections: Roads Taken and Not Taken in a Nutshell’

      A friend of mine recently asked me to describe an exercise in The National Intensive Journal, Dr. Ira Progoff’s method of journal keeping in the section called ‘Intersections: Roads Taken and Not Taken.’ It follows in a nutshell.

      From Ira Progoff, Ph.D., ‘At A Journal Workshop’ (pages 102-122)

      When writing in a journal, Frances Heussenstamm taught me long ago to make “No judgments, no comparisons, and give up your need to understand.” This is the key to depth journal work.


      For those of you who may not know, Ira Progoff’s National Intensive Journal is an integrated system of writing exercises broken into more than 20 sections in a notebook journal. He developed the method in the late 1960s and it continues to be used and taught to this day. It’s much more than a diary. Most serious journal keepers take at least one Progoff workshop in their lifetimes because it lays the groundwork for most other journal and diary methods that have followed it.

      Though I am certified to teach the Progoff method, periodically I will take a workshop because his carefully thought out method helps me to refocus my life. In the journal I keep daily and the journal workshops I currently offer, I incorporate many of Dr. Progoff’s techniques, and those of other journal teachers. But, I always “think” Progoff when I’m writing.

      Intersections is a section in the journal that Dr. Progoff called time stretching. The Life History Log is also part of this section. It is part of a series of exercises designed to help us reconstruct our autobiography over time.

      It helps us to place ourselves back in those experiences that brought us to a point of transition, to an intersection in our lives, where a change of some kind became inevitable.

      Basic to the exercises of this section is the image of the road. Our life is like a road that passes through many environments. As conditions change, it varies its style of movement. But it remains the one road of our life. It takes detours.

      Three kinds of life situations lend themselves to writing in Intersections.

      1. Roads or paths that were intersections in our lives that we did follow, either by personal choice or because of life situations.

      2. Roads we could have taken but for some reason did not. Dr. Progoff called these unlived possibilities, but are often important to explore.

      3. Roads we are considering taking at this very point in our lives.

      Progoff uses a term called Steppingstones and in the book he recommends that we make lists of major turning points in our lives to date. It’s a form of list. These usually do not exceed 12 and would comprise the choices that were actually made on the road of our life.

      Another list of choices that we could have made but didn’t is compiled. Each item can comprise a few sentences to jog your memory.

      The third set of steppingstones are those of some choices or possibilities we are currently exploring and will want to either let go or make a choice to follow.

      Creating the steppingstones lays the groundwork for Intersections, but there is no reason you can’t move back and forth in your life without the requisite lists. Dr. Progoff recommended that we always begin these kinds of writing exercises with what he called twilight imagery. Personally, I take quiet time and ask Spirit to give me the right intention for the work ahead.

      The exercises are always written in the first person. You are actually placing yourself back at the time when the choice was made by you or for you and living it. “I am now…” I usually set a timer for approximately 15 minutes and just let my life unfold because of that choice — or explore choices not made, or yet to be made.

      An Example: A Road Taken

      Say I choose an intersection from my life (or steppingstones) I did take. My wedding day and subsequent 27-year marriage, for example. “I was married to Ray P. on Sept. 6, 1958—and then—and then—and then.” No rights, no wrongs. Just write.

      An Example: A Road Not Taken

      “I stayed in my journalism program at San Jose State University and graduated with a B.A. in 1959. And then — and then — and then.”

      An Example: A Road I’m Exporing Taking

      Here I am, 71-years-old and still the same old human doing, still working, still volunteering, still trying to keep the pace of a 50 year-old. I think I might want to stop all my activity and move nearer my son and his family in Port Angeles, WA. “I sold Villa Redondo, packed my earthly belongings and Cookie and I are renting a room in a house near Lake Dawn while I decide what to do next. And then — and then.”

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        Not the first time in the last years that you mention Ira Progroff´s work here, Arpana. Could you yourself as a writer here give a hint where to find your former contributions? Would be easier for you, as you´ve brought/are bringing it in, and I would be interested to re-read.

        Otherwise, I feel it helps to write about (auto-)biographics to a certain extent, but nothing replaces, in my eyes at least and in the ´end, a good and empathic human face-to-face contact.

        How do you feel about such a statement of mine?


        I also would be curious, like the moderators, to understand your cryptic signs (intentions) here, rare, but every now and then.

        Am I too curious?

        • Arpana says:

          “but nothing replaces, in my eyes at least and in the ´end, a good and empathic human face-to-face contact.”

          I agree with that, but good to have both. One doesn’t exclude the other.

          I don’t know how to use the search on Sannyas news Madhu, but I do recall I mentioned the Intensive Journal to Fresch. (Freschie, where are you?) and would probably have sent her this link.

          I use the Intensive Journal every day, and have done for about 8 years, although I’ve also kept a daily journal since 1984.

          I enjoy using a pen and paper to write, but don’t know in a clear-cut, cause-and-effect sense if doing so is therapeutic, but I keep it up because something is fulfilled in me by doing so, concurrent with painting.

          (When I got into the method, I realised I had been looking for something like this since I was about 13, a way of expressing, recording my life, even more than straightforward daily journal keeping).

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Thanks, Arpana, yes, now I remember the context. (Can search myself…as I remember the time also).

            Just now here, did join you in your “standing ovation” to the ‘poetry slam’ of today…

            That was and is fun for everybody, isn´t it?


            • Arpana says:

              I spontaneously laughed, clapped and said, “Bravo, Frank”, sitting here in front of my computer.

              • anand yogi says:

                Again, the western baboons like Arpana merely show their desperate need for true spiritual therapy as devised by the masters of mighty Bhorat!

                Remember: Laughter is as sacred as prayer!

                But only if it happens in an authorised laughing meditation taking place in a buddhafield within a twenty-five mile radius of a holy samadhi and overseen by a qualified and certified spiritual therapist, so if anyone dies laughing he will immediately become enlightened!

                Jus` like that!

  2. shantam prem says:


    In football, chess and life, once you move your move it is over.

    In Sannyas case, I can even say, without too many westerns pumping the glory of Bhagwan and giving him the false impression West is ready, life and creation of Osho would have a different end and different Now.

  3. simond says:

    If if if. Whatever whatever whatever.
    Hindsight and projections.
    Shit happens. Whatever.

  4. samarpan says:

    Some seem to think that 1980-1981 represented a “downturn.” Instead, it represented the successful beginning of “the last phase” of his work. Osho kept his word that it would be “intense, concentrated and full of silence.”

    For me, 1980-1981 did not represent a “downturn”. It was during that time of public silence (the time of Osho’s arrival at Chidvilas) that I was falling in love with Osho.

    By what criteria could that time period be said to be a “downturn”? Not having millions or billions of enlightened sannyasins? Not having a location for a physical ashram? Not being ‘fabulously rich’? In my opinion, all those miss what neo-Sannyas is and what Osho was up to.

    None of those criteria are the relevant criteria. Osho accomplished as much as he needed to accomplish, no more, no less. No one can say Osho did not put his all into the effort and that is success, not numbers, not money, nor any external measurable results, not a big ashram. I consider every phase of Osho’s life, pre-Ranch, Ranch, and post-Ranch, a success.

    From my perspective, it is not Whittier’s sad case of “it might have been.” Neo-Sannyas is a continuing ecstatic unfolding…and it is perfect.

    • frank says:

      Quite right, Dr. Pangloss!

      • samarpan says:

        It is what it is, frank: Satchitananda.

        Satchitananda was there from the start, before traditions and civilizations developed, before religions. Voltaire probably had no idea of Satchitananda, lila, or perfection with a capital P.

        “Every one of you adds with his special feature to the glory of the garden. God is without form, without quality as well as with form and quality. Watch and see with what endless variety of beautiful forms. He plays the play of his maya with Himself alone. The lila of the all-pervading One goes on and on in this way in infinite diversity. He is without beginning and without end. He is the whole and also the part. The whole and part together make up real Perfection.”

        (Sri Anandamayi Ma)

        • satyadeva says:

          With your comments, Samarpan, I never quite know how much is genuinely from your own living experience and how much is the wish-fulfilment of an unusually strong spiritual imagination, nurtured and ‘legitimised’ by such quotes as you’ve just presented.

          • samarpan says:

            “Who Cares?”

            (Ramesh S. Balsekar)

            • satyadeva says:

              Well, you seem to, judging by this often repeated need to shore up your comments by quoting those you view as ‘spiritual authorities’!

              What’s wrong with honestly stating you simply don’t give a shit what anyone thinks of you – WITHOUT lifting some bogus (because out-of-context) quote from someone else, as if to demonstrate how ‘spiritually advanced’ you are?

              Until you stop doing that you’ll have little credibility as far as I’m concerned. After all, if you’re in such a ‘perfect’ space, where’s the need for dragging in others’ words to emphasise your wisdom and your attainment? Isn’t where you’re at enough unto itself?

            • frank says:

              “Thou art Twat”
              (Bidi Baba)

        • frank says:

          Sam says:
          “Satchitananda was there from the start, before traditions and civilizations developed, before religions.”

          And how exactly do you know that?

          From the same place where you heard about Vivek’s death where you reported:
          “Osho laughed. It was not an untimely death. She left just in time to prepare the way for Osho, who was soon to follow. Where could she go, if this is leela, and death is a fiction?”?

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Hi Frank,
            There was no reply button any more under your hint to get some information about Jeffrey Masson; thank you for the hint. (I watched a youtube interview with the man and Katrina Fox – amazing, but I have had some ear-irritations after that, and that has to sink).

            Otherwise…there is quite a rush of ´freeloaders’ or copycats on my life-issue (with no response button as well) and I really need some space off to let that again sink.

            Good to remember the thread topic: ‘Journey of the Heart’- Tte latter never ever a geographical matter nor a ‘legal’ matter).

            And let that again sink.

            Had an exhausting day.


  5. shantam prem says:

    “Neo-Sannyas is a continuing ecstatic unfolding…and it is perfect.”

    This is what RELIGION is. Religious ships don´t sink. Religious buildings remain stable when earthquake comes. Religious currency always goes upward. Religious people never die.

    More or less, everybody with brain understands, religion becomes exploitation of the masses, once founders die!

    Oops – When founders leave the body.

  6. shantam prem says:

    Man who wants to be the Chariman of Osho Foundation International is presently engaged as Lunch Box courier for German senior citizens.

    To be true, this is my way of journey of the heart.

    Once a religious cult bursts not many possibilities are left for the survivors. Those who are clever will create another Ponzi scheme, those who are innocent will work on the bottom of the social pyramid.

    • Kavita says:

      Shantam, you stand more chance to stand for Chancellor of Deutschland with this photo. If you had a wine glass it would be otherwise!

      • shantam prem says:

        Chancellor of Deutschland is a project for another life.

        Right now, Europe is anti-war. I wish to be the Chancellor of Germany or British PM when war clouds are in the air. (It is not a joke).

        • satyadeva says:

          Keep taking the medication, Shantam!

          • shantam prem says:

            In a way, this work is a therapy to get rooted with the culture I am living in.

            Few weeks ago, I told to myself, Germany is one big ashram for me, the food distribution job I was doing in the ashram in the beginning came by itself.

            One of the colleague in fitness is a chief cook in an institution. When I said I would like to work, it does not matter what, but have no temptation to write any application, he said, “Ok, I give you the job.”

            I did not say to him but asked inside, “My God, why Thomas in not an investment banker?”

            To get a qualified job opportunity would have been the real miracle, almost like becoming guru and living from it!

            • Lokesh says:

              Good photo, Shantam. I checked out the company’s website. Nice van also. Good luck with the new job.

              • shantam prem says:

                Thanks, Lokesh.

                This part-time job I hope to continue.
                When illusions of New Man, New Humanity go tatters, I don´t have any hesitation to say, world created by Christians is comparably better than the real life interpretation of any past or present Indian guru and their Indo-western disciples.

                I wonder how some Indian can ever even sell ‘Art of Living.’

                Big fishes of little pond think they own the ocean.

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              Yes, Shantam,
              Good luck and enjoy; would like to join Lokesh here with best wishes.


              Glad that your new friend is not an investment banker….

    • Parmartha says:

      Enjoyed the pic! And good luck with the job. Much better than all this cogitation on SN.

  7. Parmartha says:

    “Neo-Sannyas is a continuing ecstatic unfolding…and it is perfect” – so says Samarpan.

    Osho himself had a different take on the American adventure, and if you research it you will find he said both publicly and privately it was a mistake – so not some perfect unfolding.

    Personally, I consider this sort of comment reflective of some kind of medieval divine right of kings thinking. Making mistakes is what makes us human.

    Of course, as I think some comments here hint at, there is no use in wasting time on dwelling on them, but silly not to recognise them and make sure you don’t make them again.

    Certainly, enlightenment does not protect you from mistakes.

    My initial comment on this string was a sort of whimsy, but I don’t think that makes it invalid.

  8. samarpan says:

    If you are no longer with a guru and consider life your teacher, Guru Purnima is an opportunity to give thanks for what life has taught you.

    Another perfect Guru Purnima to everyone!

    • anand yogi says:

      Perfectly correct, Samarpan!

      It is of the utmost importance that you repeat endlessly that everything is perfectly correct in the perfectly correct world of the perfectly correct disciple of the perfectly correct master!

      Keep up the perfect work and do not be disturbed by cries of “parrot”, “inflated fool”, “relig-idiot”, “delusionary”, “twat” from the unconscious baboons of SN who wallow in a muddy cess-pit of imperfection!

      It has always been the perfectly correct being`s fate to be crucified and reviled by the unconscious masses!

      And in the grand scheme of things as envisaged by the wisdom that existed before the beginning ot time, which you are party to, every insult, every nail banged in, every pie in the face, every poke in the eye, every knee in the groin is both proof of the truth of what you are saying and also simply another manifestation of perfection!


  9. shantam prem says:

    As per Indian way of the heart, today is Master´s full moon celebration. Indians don´t have Father`s Day, Mother´s Day, Valentine´s Day but Master´s Day.

    I don´t think those who started this festival centuries ago had the idea of adding Departed Master´s too in Master´s Day.

    In all the thousands of discourses, I have not come across some piece where Osho has some guidelines over this theme. Maybe this is the reason flagship property, developed by late Osho and now in control of closest western disciples, won´t celebrate Master´s day, faithful Indians will celebrate in various cities and will get sentimental about O.

    I have mixed feelings.

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