This Mexican guy Rupesh turned up in London in the seventies when he was still a teenager. He hung out in a pub where Sannaysin musicians gigged and eventually ended up living in a squatted sannyasin house. He playeds drums. Eventually he became a sannyasin and travelled to Poona.
In Poona one he worked in the kitchen and in the bakery and played in music group in Buddha Hall, and later, for the Energy Darshans in Lao Tzu; his bongos, tablas and congas are present in the music of almost all of the recordings of Osho Active Meditations.
During the years of Pune 2 he had the opportunity to replace Nivedano for a few days, hitting the big drum to begin with the jibberish for the ‘let go’ meditation after Osho’s discourse. To everyone’s astonishment – the command from Osho remains: “Nivedano!”
Osho says about this:
I have an apology to make to Rupesh. Nivedano has been beating the drum. Now that crazy guy has taken himself off into Rajasthan in search of more rocks to make a bigger fountain and waterfall. He was very worried about what would happen to the drum. Who will drum?
I had to convince him, ”Don’t be worried. Whoever drums, I will continue to call Nivedano.” He was immensely happy. But I had promised only for the last series, which has now ended. Poor Rupesh was beating the drum under the name of Nivedano.
Yesterday, the series changed: I thought, now it is time to call Rupesh. But somebody mistakenly wrote on my board the name Arup. I wondered for a moment, has Rupesh changed his name without even informing me? But there was no time. So I had to call Arup. And I could see, when Rupesh gave a beat to the drum, the anger. I am sorry, Rupesh. Those drums are not responsible for it.
Some drum is responsible, but the drums you are beating are not responsible.
Today I will call Rupesh until this series ends. But please be kind to the drums.
Osho, Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-Mind
Afetr Osho’s death Rupesh contributed to the tracks of various artists: Miten and Deva Premal asked him to play for Songs of the Inner Lover, which comes out in 2003; in 1995 he joins in for Dancing Tribe with drummer friends Harida, Sandesh, Rishi, and the composers and guitarists Marco and Somesh (Naveen and Yuthika vocals), all friends with whom Rupesh has played for Osho.
In summer 1996 he plays with Upanishad (Shoukichi Kina) from Okinawa (Japan) at the Cultural Olympiad during the Olympic Games in Atlanta and in 1998, together with Veetmarco and Harida he creates Inside Out (with flute player Yashu) with relaxing, sensuos and ethnic tracks. The same year the production of a new CD brings together Rupesh, Sandesh, Marco and Harida for Let Go, a dance meditation inspired by the Nataraj meditation.
In recent years he returned to Mexico where he performed with Deva Sofia, an amazing flute player, to whom he is close not only as a musician but also as a friend. He travels to play at festivals in Costa Rica, Japan, Italy, Spain and in particular Portugal, which becomes second base for him. During the last six years he spends at least two months a year there with Harida and Nartan, planning new recording projects and offering meditations camps and concerts.
In August 2009 Rupesh is diagnosed with lymphoma it is treated with complementary medicine, and with chemo, which his body does not take well, and then again with alternative treatment including a visit to a Shaman healer in Colombia. When he regains strength, in August 2010, he plays again with Sofia in Mexico.
Determined to see India again in the recent past he falls sick on the visit. He collapsed on arrival back in Mexico. Despite further treatment Rupesh left the body on 30th January, 2011. He sure had lived.
Here he is playing last year in Tokyo