Swami Gajar Baba

Swami Gajar Baba was an Indian sannyasin who was,  as far as I know a primary school teacher from Bihar, though how much he worked in that trade after he became an Osho sannyaisn, only maybe another blogger will know.   It was said he could not read or write English, though once again I dont know that for a fact.

He seemed to work sometimes in the ashram, in the kitchen,  in Ponna one, I am not sure what arrangement he had with Laxmi, or the other high ups. But it did not include a bed as he seemed to like the burning ghats and slept there with a dog. I dont know whether he “owned” the dog, but the dog was there with him.

Somehow or other he managed to get to all of the celebrations in Oregon- the only Indian sannyasin living in the sub-continent  to do so.  Something to admire there I would say. I would be interested to know how he did it? Maybe another Indian sannyasin could tell us?  For example how did he manage to save enough for the fares, and how did he get visas for the USA – both  must have been a very great struggle.

Was he just a beachcomber sort, living on the edge of the sedge, but who had somehow touched the light and who the light looked after ?

02Said to be a photo of Gajar Babu

Very few people, if any,  knew,  as it were Gajar Baba, maybe some of us “recognised” something in him in Poona one, but did not even  know his name.

Then came that almighty recognition by Osho in 1984.  Osho declared various disciples as Sambuddhas, Mahasattvas and Bodhisattvas in that year.  Gajar Baba (Swami Krishna Narayan Bharati) was on one of the lists. I dont recall which list, anyone else know?   As I remember Osho a few months later said that all the lists were a joke, though a friend says it was just the “enlightened” list that was a joke ?  Again, anyone know?

Gajar Baba is said to have died at the Koregoan Park Burning Ghats where he had lived.when in Pune.  I also dont know that for a fact. Sometimes myths gather around such people because they are actually so unknown.

In the history of sannyas though, he does deserve something more than a mention, and this I do here, hoping it will be echoed elsewhere, and also that more fuller facts will emerge about him through this post.

Parmartha

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30 Responses to Swami Gajar Baba

  1. Kavita says:

    Parmartha, I remember Gajjar Walla Baba used to worship at the veggie chopping table in Zorba. I would often go there to see my mother who was also part of that team and I asked my mother, who said his name was Gajjar Baba (gajjar is Hindi for carrots) – no ‘Walla’.

    During that time sometimes sannyasins would often ask him about his journey with Osho & I remember him saying that after Osho left for USA , he somehow had managed a passport & reached the Bombay Airport with no money & when people came to know that , few started to contribute for his ticket & he managed to go to the Ranch to see Osho.

    In the mid-90s he lived in RagVillas Society, in a rented room which was mostly provided by western sannyasins and the food by Indian sannyasins , this I came to know from a close friend , Swami Satya Prem who is also a sannyasin from Bihar & was close to him .

    In his last days, in the late 90s, the commune took his responsibility and was shifted to Hotel Sunderban where Swami Paripurna aka Pari ( Indian , telephone dept ) lovingly took care of him & was with him till his last breath .

    • Parmartha says:

      Thanks very much, Kavita.

      The Baba is what people used to call him, apparently, but not as it were, his name. His actual name was Swami Krishna Narayan Bharati.

      It is good to hear of the way he ended his days, and the Resort/Commune took care. I did not like the thought that he died alone at the Burning Ghats, but certainly in Poona 1 he did sleep there.

      Certainly I understood that he got to the Ranch for all the annual celebrations there. This is also the understanding of Swami Anand Arun, who says so in his recent book…but not sure of the geography of that. Maybe he simply got himself to the USA, and hung out there somehow between celebrations. I would be interested to know.

  2. shantam prem says:

    Thanks, Parmartha, for thinking about unknown or little known foot soldiers involved in short-lived Sannyas History. I love this feeling of caring.

    I have some scattered memories around Gajar Baba which I will surely write but will also phone few friends from Bihar who had years long connection with him.

    It will be interesting to know, Gajar means carrot. Baba is a world of reverence for elderly and wise. Carrot Baba got his famous name because he was working in the kitchen peeling carrots.

    Thanks again.

    MOD:
    POST EDITED.

    • Parmartha says:

      One of the things that Paritosh (the author of ‘Life of Osho’) left me to think about just before he died in 2009 was that I should try and write an alternative history of Sannyas…

      I would certainly want to weave the stories of some of these brave, living-on-the-edge souls, who demonstrate the real sannyas, more deeply than all the commentators and organisational leaders.

      • Arpana says:

        You’ve just started a new discussion, big P!
        Which alternative would you be referring to?

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        “I would certainly want to weave the stories of some of these brave, living on the edge souls, who demonstrate the real sannyas, more deeply than all the commentators and organisational leaders.” ( Parmartha)

        Yes, Parmartha, what a beautiful ´means´- the weaving issue -
        Too bad, is it (?) , that seemingly ” all the commentaors” are needed, are they ?
        And I guess, you mean more than less us with it, responding on thread topics of SN/UK , is it ?

        Otherwise, the weaving itself is happening anyway.
        Moment to moment.

        And the ´book weaving is already happening in the writing by the living offsprings and those who take care of them ( e-ducation-wise).

        Madhu

      • shantam prem says:

        Where you put yourself, Parmartha?
        One of those Real Sannyasins or all the commentators & organisational leaders?

        The term ‘Real Sannyasin’ is very much coated with religious flavour, just like ‘real Christians’ or ‘real Sikhs’! In such classifications our personal opinions overshadow the bigger picture. Truth becomes victim of cult recognition.

      • kusum says:

        “Living-on-the-edge souls”? Users, abusers, prostitutes, drug dealers, hippies, escapists, beggars??? All in the shadow of religion???

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Dear SP and Kusum,
          Before drawing conclusions we should put things in the right perspective, imagining who are those who Parmartha calls “commentators and organisational leaders”, in opposition to the “living-on-the-edge souls”.

        • satyadeva says:

          Mmmm, yes, reminds me of Jerusalem, around 30 AD….

          • anand yogi says:

            Perfectly correct, Kusum!

            The hippie beggars, wasters and escapists have,as Swami Arun has clearly pointed out, abused the freedom that Osho had, out of compassion, given them!

            Arun,by pronouncing Narendra Modi as Zorba the Buddha and supporting him in his drive to crush the unholy rise and influence of women, homosexuals and western-imported depravity in our truly religious land, has given a shining example of what true shadow-free religion is really about!

            Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Shiva, Sai Baba – where is the beggar?
            Ashrams, monasteries, caves -where are the escapists?
            Users and abusers, homosexuals and prostitutes? These things are absolutely unheard of in the shadow-free world of real religion!

            It is good, Kusum, that you speak out in small sentences that are reminiscent of the dohas of the mighty poet Kebab!

            In this way, both your level of consciousness and the true nature of the religion of mighty Bhorat (of which you are a beacon-like example) shines out with a blinding obviousness!

            Only a mentally and spiritually retarded spiritual seeker with limited life experience and marginally less functioning brain cells than the scrapings from an emotionally-stunted baboon’s with mental problems ass could fail to see it!

            Yahoo!
            Hari Om!

            • Tan says:

              LOL
              So accurate! You, son of an Osho!

            • frank says:

              SD says:
              “Mmmm, yes, reminds me of Jerusalem, around 30 AD…”

              Some of the best Red Leb I ever smoked, man…got ripped off a couple of times by that Judas guy…seriously tho`, Mary Magdalene – wot a goer, you certainly got your shekels worth with her…and what happened to whassisname?…you know..the bloke who invented aggressive begging and who used to rip off donkeys and go joyriding them round the town centre – you could always rely on him to knock up a sandwich out of nothing and brew some illegal hooch on the spot at a party…top geezer – wicked!

              No wonder the fuzz were well pissed off and he eventually got banged up…

              Those were the days alright.

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          NO.
          (To stay with your way of responding, Kusum).

        • Parmartha says:

          Stayng with the topic, Kusum, I mean people like Gajar Baba. He lived on the edge, was homeless, and did beg a bit, once to get to America, according to some. Seeing him dancing at Osho’s burning ghat was very uplifting to such as myself.

          I sense a Hindu puritan maybe there in you. Jesus’s favourite female disciple was a prostitute, and I myself, especially in Pune 1, knew a few as friends. They were great people, and somehow free.

  3. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    If in the early 90s he was still at Osho Commune, if he was a smoker, if while smoking he was not disturbed by Italian songs at the big smoking temple on the side of Meera’s restaurant, then I could have talked to him.

    But when you, Parmartha, talk about Primary School Teacher, Oregon and nights under the stars, then the first and clear connection of my heart is with Sw. Dhyan Tommaso. He left his job and sold his property for the Utopia-puram project, now a ghost town.

    I like to think that these friends, with a bodhisattva attitude, continue to watch those places, and every now and then one can still hear them laughing and crying, at the edge of the Samsara and at the centre of the American dream.

    Ciao,

    VF

  4. Kavita says:

    I just remembered seeing him in the “I leave you my dream” video, he appears @ 10.34-10.37:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYe34M2T_g8

  5. bodhi vartan says:

    From the “I leave you my dream” video.

  6. preetam says:

    Sure, I remember him…a very agile and straight person, not talking much – with his dance he expresses lovingly our ecstasy…guess he continues the dance inside our self. YaaHoo!

  7. shantam prem says:

    I think most of us human beings have the hidden longing to fall in love like in the Titanic movie or surrender before those who claim with confidence,”I am in the same league as Buddha, Jesus, Kabir, Mahavira, Nanak Shiva etc.”

    Some people get their higher calling. No one knows till the end, Higher calling was really high like a Banyan tree or a sugarcane.

    For westerns, it was a rare occasion when the call of an Indian master was heard loud and clear; for Indians, market is always full.

    What to say about others who are being adored by millions-plus Indians? Even in the legacy of Osho, three family members are running a successful empire with their own Apple babas, bananas and Ms.Mangoes.
    It just needs spending half an hour at youtube to see how Indian Guruji Shishya ji market is bubbling.

    I also think humanity has become this much mature to understand, whether you die or leave the body, one thing is clear, you are no more here and now.

    For falling in love or being in devotion towards someone, presence of two is important. Rest is imagination or entertainment.

  8. Parmartha says:

    I have read the string but no-one has answered the question as to HOW Gajar got to the Ranch four times, and how it must have been the central focus of his life.

    There were a lot of Indian sannyasins, but it seems no-one else managed it from the entire sub-continent.

    Also, no-one has managed to come up with the full range of lists that Osho issued in 1984, and the four categories he made of sannyasins at that time. Gajar, unknown to almost all of the community, appeared on one of those lists, and I would be interested in which one.

    • shantam prem says:

      I think this question can be answered by Swami Ageh Bharti or Arun ji from Nepal.

      Both got their glorious movement to be in the list of A + chosen few candidates who were going to be the messengers of Rajneeshism. So they must be having the memory of another special one.

  9. Nice post. Thanks for sharing information about Swami Gajar Baba.

  10. Kavita says:

    Parmartha, I have just come to know from a reliable source (who does not want to be named) who knew him closely, that Gajar baba had some money of his own too after selling his property & that he has visited USA only once for only one of the four festivals. So this means his four festivals story is not factual.

    And that he had sold his property before going to USA, so he had some money of his own but it was not enough for the ticket.

  11. Kavita says:

    Arps , first of all there can’t be any comparison . Secondly , Shantam is a close friend . One thing Shantam if he allows me to say so , is not the type to go to court ( irony !) for any complaints or else he would in person join them actively / full time in Pune .

    Sw.Prem Geet ( Mr .Thakker ), was / is an Estate Agent , I have spoken to him at the most 2 times in early 2000 , once when I called him on his phone for a house visit & second time when he visited our house . At that time we ( my mother & me ) used to mostly live in Saswad /21 kms from Pune and every time I came back to Koregaon Park house, I found it hard to cope with mentally as well as financially , maintaining it due to of renting it partly , so I decided to sell & during that time I met mostly all sannyasin property dealers of that time and one thing they all told me is not to sell . I did sell but the Saswad house in 2007 to our neighbor there & now live in Koregaon Park since then .