Perspectives on Ma Laxmi, Osho’s Secretary, 1970 – 1980

Three Osho sannyasins share their experiences of Ma Laxmi 


Swami Satya Vedant:
Always happy, always smiling, always laughing, Ma Yog Laxmi was totally surrendered to her master, Osho. When questioned on any task she accomplished or any major problem she faced, she always responded by saying, ‘It is his Leela (play), not Laxmi.’ Her surrender to her master was a hundred per cent’. She always lived in the moment, managed to accomplish a vast amount of work in a five minutes tackling different issues from kitchen to meeting the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Always relaxed, she was totally in the present moment. The word disciple is related to discipline in English but in Sanskrit the word means one who learns, lives and breathes the master. Laxmi lived Osho, breathed Osho and remained with Osho all her life, like a true disciple.

Swami Anand Kul Bhushan:
Who is Ma Laxmi? A small, frail, fragile, delicate young disciple…. No. she was not just a body. She was only bundle of energy, Osho’s energy. Anyone interacting with her was interacting with Osho’s energy. In her every breath, her every heartbeat, every task, Osho energy was flowing all the time. Laxmi operated in two dimensions: Love and logic; sannyas and sansar. Love, total and unconditional surrender for her master; logic for the world. When she spoke about her master it was surrender, thankfulness and unbounded love every second of her life. When she dealt with contractors, bank managers, politicians and everyone else, it was sheer logic. Both these dimensions flowed at the same time. When she moved to Pune in 1974 with Osho, the commune was not very developed. But her devotion and dedication was greatly responsible for its rapid blooming. A top Indian magazine named her as one of the four most powerful women in India at one time. Her response was, “It’s all his Leela!”

Once she was standing alone at an airport when an Osho lover asked her,” Ma, are you alone?” She turned to her side and said, “No, he is here with me.”

Before coming to Delhi for her work, she would contact Swami Om Prakash Saraswati for assistance who, in turn, would depute Swami Atul Anand to be with her round the clock. So her of work, style and surrender permeated to both of them and thus lives till today.

Swami Atul Anand:
I first met Ma Laxmi in Bombay and last met her in Bombay. Whenever she came to Delhi, I was with her to work for her current mission. It is my great good fortune that I was blessed with her presence. In fact, this is the great fortune of my life. Of course, Osho is the biggest thing in my life but she was my gateway to Osho. She was always transparent and devoted to Osho.

The three stages of learning are: student, disciple and devotee. Very few people graduate to become devotees at the feet of their master. Only by becoming a devotee, they can be transformed in the same way as Laxmi.

These are extracted from a pre-publication thing from OshoWorld,  about the forthcoming Indian biography of Laxmi to be published this year.

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42 Responses to Perspectives on Ma Laxmi, Osho’s Secretary, 1970 – 1980

  1. Kavita says:

    First time I heard about Ma Laxmi was in the Pune commune in the early 90s, from Swami Arup Krishna aka Chachu, a commune resident from Poona 1. He said he came in contact with Osho in Bombay from pre-Woodlands days.

    I remember hearing from him that when Osho was living in a small flat in Chembur/Bombay, Osho and his team those days had very little money & that there was a crunch even to pay for their electricity bills. At around that time Laxmi came in contact with Osho and from then on Osho never had to face much financial issues!

  2. shantam prem says:

    One more reason to believe active participants in Osho’ work are either dead or in the Q.

    • frank says:

      We are all in the queue, dearie.

      Even if some of us think that by wearing a pair of 400 year-old holey underpants we’ll make some kind of come-back!

  3. Lokesh says:

    I met and talked with Laxmi on quite a few occasions. I liked her. She was fun, lived on rice crackers and talked about her self in the third person. The latter was a real bit of hokum, fairly typical of some of the nonsense that often took place in Osho’s circus. Of course, ignorant at the time as many of us were in the early days, we all thought it was all very spiritual, when in fact it was Laxmi exhibiting apparent spiritual behaviour.

    Today, I do not believe speaking of oneself in the third person will get you anywhere spiritual, just earn a reputation as being a bit of a headcase.

    The article is full of glowing accolades about what a channel she was for Osho’s energy etc. Maybe she was…she had quite a strong positive vibe about her. Then again, it is hardly surprising. Laxmi had what everyone wanted during those years…unlimited access to Bhagwan. From what I recall she certainly seemed to enjoy her right-hand woman to Osho role. Sat in her air-con office most days with everyone namastaeing at her as if she were God. Not difficult to appear enlightened is such a situation.

    I am reminded of wealthy people I have met over the years. Their wealth means they do not have to sweat the same things most people have to deal with. Their wealth can make them appear quite enlightened, looks very relaxed and together. Then you get to know them better and realise they have problems too. It’s just that they have exchanged the normal problems in life for a more sophisticated set. It is so very human to be taken in by appearances

    Atul concludes, “The three stages of learning are: student, disciple and devotee. Very few people graduate to become devotees at the feet of their master. Only by becoming a devotee, they can be transformed in the same way as Laxmi.”

    A very Hinduistic interpretation. I find such an interpretation to be extremely limiting and simplistic. Besides, who really knows the extent of Laxmi’s transformation? As I see it, this is myth building.

    The problem with that is that it can lead people down the garden path, because I suspect that the people speaking like this are just as lost as the next person. They endeavour to make themselves holier than thou with their special brand of apparent devotional interpretation. I am no longer impressed by such behaviour. The truth is that until you die you simply do not know.

    • shantam prem says:

      If one listens to Resort people, Laxmi was playing double agent once Osho came back from America.

      As per their version, to become again the right-hand woman around Osho she was telling Foreign Office to block the entry of western disciples.

      I cannot say what is truth but once Indians got kicked out from Pune, they started building their own star disciples.

    • Parmartha says:

      Thanks, Lokesh. A well considered post indeed…and raised my evening.

      • Lokesh says:

        Thanks, PM. Last I heard of the old girl, before she passed on, she was selling chappatis in New York. Slightly more nutritious than crackers.

        In many ways, Laxmi was representative of old school Sannyas and Rajneesh, when he was still playing a more or less traditional Indian guru number. Osho moved with the times and to a certain extent the times moved with him. He became more radical in his approach and appointed a radical nutter in the form of his right-hand woman, Sheela. If I had to choose between the two Laxmi would be an easy choice. She was a very sweet woman and there was definitely a touch of the mystic in her devoted heart.

    • satchit says:

      @lokesh

      “Besides, who really knows the extent of Laxmi’s transformation? As I see it, this is myth building.”

      Who really knows the extent of somebody else’s transformation?
      Who believes in transformation?
      As I see it, this is myth building.

      • Kavita says:

        Does this then mean all is myth?!

      • frank says:

        Ah, but who is seeing that this is myth building?
        As I see it,the “I” that sees that this is myth building is in itself a myth built by the “I” which does not exist save but for being an impersonal event arising in awareness

        “You move it to the left
        You move it to the right
        Yeah, if it takes all night
        You make it last
        You know scratchit just like a monkey
        Yeah you do real, yeah
        You slide it to the limbo
        Yeah, how low can you go?
        Oh, come on baby

        Groove it right here to the Advaita Shuffle
        Yeah, yeah, yeah do the advaita shuffle
        Do the advaita shuffle…
        Till I can`t stand it no more….”

        • satchit says:

          “As I see it,the “I” that sees that this is myth building is in itself a myth built by the “I” which does not exist save but for being an impersonal event arising in awareness”

          If I don’t know I don’t know, I think I know. If I don’t know I know, I think I don’t know.
          R. D. Laing

  4. frank says:

    In all mystical, enlightenment-seeking groups, biographical accounts of the guru and his close disciples that are not exercises in hagiography are seen as false in essence and contrary to the aims that the groups are working towards,which is transcendence beyond all limits, including time.

    Subscribing to the hagiographical in this context is seen, in itself, as a `way`, a `device` for `reaching`

    You will find the same kind of statements/accounts in all the stories of all gurus by all devotees, live or dead. It`s part of the practice/game.

    If you are not in the game it does sound remarkably like a bunch of guys trying to big themselves up through association.

    Or just saying the right thing to stay in with the group.

    Maybe a shot of `credo quia absurdum` to steady the nerves on the journey from here to here.

    • Parmartha says:

      Jesus was resurrected. Some kind of nonsense this which billions apparently believe.
      Unlike some famous Catholic theologian I don’t find myself believing this because it is absurd! A crazy logic that.

      The whole “Credo Quia Absurdum” is just a way for the mind to escape the real razor’s edge, which is life itself.

      Hagiography is not my bag at all, just throw the truth at me, warts, blood and all. And that’s only the beginning….

      • frank says:

        PM,
        It`s a crazy logic alright, but not just confined to crusty old Xian theologians.

        The New Age is awash with various versions of it and the Osho scene also.

        People seem to think (sorry,feel) that whack ideas somehow put them beyond everyday non-spiritual life and are transcendent in some way.

        Mind you, so do Tennents Super and crystal meth.

        Just say no, bro`.

        • Parmartha says:

          Thanks, Frank…your post made me feel mellow, old chap, for no reason!

          • frank says:

            Glad to be of service!!

            • frank says:

              From an article in Oshonews put up today entitled ‘Scientific enquiry into rebirth’.

              Osho says:

              “There is a man known as Ted, whose mind has taken the scientific world by surprise. And the psychic societies have learned a great deal from his experiences, which are simply extraordinary.

              For instance, I am now here and Ted is in New York. He does not know me, nor has he heard about me, nor seen a photograph of me. But he can create my image in his eyes just by concentrating his thought on me.

              If someone asks him to work on me, he will close his eyes and meditate on me for a full thirty minutes. And in thirty minutes’ time he will create my image in his eyes and this image can be captured by a camera. And it will be my photograph, although a little fainter than the one taken directly here. Ted has produced thousands of such photographs and they have all been verified and found to be true.

              What does it mean?

              It means that Ted’s eyes are capable of seeing me from such a long distance. They can not only see me but also capture my likeness exactly as your eyes do when you are looking at me here face to face. Scientists put Ted to all kinds of tests and he always proved authentic.”

              He is refering,it seems to Ted Serios(1918-2006),a sociopathic alcoholic who managed to blag a couple of shrinks in the 60s. and managed to end up in the museum of hoaxes.

              http://hoaxes.org/photo_database/image/thoughtography

              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                Hi Frank,
                Amazing that you did put up that ´link´ (´rebirth´) to this special chat-topic streaming…
                I take it with your before very recently posted statement:
                “The New Age is awash with various versions of it and the Osho scene also.”

                As far as late Ma Laxmi is concerned, I had a little research these days how often such came up in terms of topics since 2009, and could find some, mostly in a kind of regretful flavour that some wonderful ´kindergarten-time´of Pune I phase ended in 1981 or so.

                I was also reminded on the book SN posted, ‘The Day we got Guns’ and the therein mentioned bugging game in Laxmi´s A-Frame on the Ranch and the obnoxious and mean testimonial of the ´master-bugger´ (still in informatic skills duties??) – he who (besides watching habitually his porn vids) was quite annoyed listening to the bugged material of Laxmi´s home base there at her time on the Ranch. Nothing of the various testimonials ´we´, as a Sangha, can be proud of, I suggest…

                Well, what to say?
                To be grieving about some inevitable (?) deterioration processing in a movement is not as bad as it appears to be.

                He or she who does not know how to be sad about wrongdoings and wrong developments, will be forced to repetitions of the same crap, as Margarethe Mitscherlich put it. I would second that by life experiences – also in the Sannyas realms.

                Madu

                PS:
                Btw, I have been very grateful that somebody here contributed some time ago the link to watch ‘The Source Family’, a well done, long documentary video.

  5. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    Is there something a sannyasin can say or do for Osho who does not sound hagiography for those who (someone after resuming the name given them by mom and dad in church, Christian I suppose) pretend to teach how to transcend the saying and the doing for the Master talking about themselves?

    Luckily Laxmi never said that solving the problems was “her Leela”.

    Thank you Laxmi, for your work and for your smile of simple woman.
    “I love you who are not a diva or superstar”

    Ciao,

    VT

    P.s.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeMJbTTfALM
    “Simple men are always heroes / Who in silence live, exist / Trees and clouds with the wind swell / Instead they struggle, they resist / And if a fool goes crying / That this world is collapsing / Do not believe, he’s bluffing / And there’s no church to pray that / There are no saints on earth / The simple men are so many / You do not see or hear them / But they’re all around you / Simple men … / Simple men are always heroes / Have your father’s eyes, your eyes / I love you that you are not a diva or superstar / In your clean eyes my life / Because for me you are the most beautiful / Because everyone has his star / Because for everyone, the sun shines / And let me sing that there is no love without a song / And there is no life without an emotion / Everyone in the world writes his story / Where there is glory for every hero / Simple men … “

  6. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    “Orthodoxy” with “Osho” is an oxymoron. How to share the Master then?

    To me, it becomes increasingly difficult to share Osho intellectually, when my heart is closed, when for some reason I’m not celebrating what’s there; without love it does not sound credible what I say.

    There is at least the gossip, which for Him “sounds like Gospel”.

    Ciao,

    VF

  7. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    Thank you, facelass frank.

    Just do not follow Loflash with the acronyms, recently he does not seem very sober. Maybe it’s the right time to ask him for a thoughtography of your face…I tried with a glass of Chianti by Miasto but it did not work, I suppose, if that dark spot with a white hair ring does not remind you.

    Yes, I am a passionate sannyasin and celebrate life rather than the philosophy of Shankara, Ramanuja or Madhva “I prefer raisin that gives me more calories” (‘White Flag’, Franco Battiato).

    I do not know what advaitists would say, but to me it seems credible that the season of love comes and goes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxtR29WqFEk

    Ciao,

    VF

  8. kusum says:

    Laxmi was almost as old as Osho so naturally she was more mature, sensible & motherly. Also she had lot of support from some businessmen from Bombay as well. She certainly enjoyed her power position.

    • swamishanti says:

      Ma Yoga Laxmi was like a rolling ball of orange sannyas energy, small but willing and able to serve the master.

      In her Mahalaxmi form, she appears as a cute teddy bear with four arms, one carrying a mace and one carrying a sword, one carrying Osho`s personal white towel, and one carrying the Book of the Secrets.

      She is seated on a pink lotus.
      Her attributes are love and devotion.