To Be or not to Be, Part 2B

by Ma Prem Dakshina

o be or not to be a sannyasin was the question I posed in the article I wrote for the first edition of this magazine. In that article I expressed with absolute certainty that I was more comfortable not to be a sannyasin, but rather to remain “a friend to sannyasins.” HA! Well, I’m glad I never said I’d never do it. Never say never! Since then I had the wonderful opportunity to travel around the world. My partner Abhi, a sannyasin, was going to Pune to spend time with his master. I was following along full of curiosity about this ashram that I’d heard about for three years. I was also very curious about what Osho really meant for me.

The first week in Pune I had a hard time adjusting to some ashram rules. Why was it necessary to wear a red dress just to eat my breakfast? I grumbled and complained until I discovered the joy of... what? Reform? Being brainwashed? Losing myself? No: dropping a bit of my ego.

Abhi and I jumped into a Co-Dependency group together. The ashram wastes no time to do its magic for those who are willing, huh? Well, we got a good dose during that week. After a pretty emotional roller-coaster ride we made it through the group still wanting to travel down the same road together. I got a good look at my fears around commitment.

Nightly discourses were becoming sweeter and sweeter. My judgements of Osho slowly, slowly began to melt away. Meanwhile I went into the Primal Group, embarking on what – I had no clue. After ten days of blowing out a lot of welled-up anger and pain, I felt an opening I’d never felt before. Going to nightly discourse had changed without my even knowing it. Suddenly I found myself dancing and laughing and yelling OSHO! as loud as the rest of the other crazy beings around me. I felt that I was a sannyasin. Even though people had told me previously that I was already a sannyasin because I am a seeker, I never felt it like I did after a month and a half in the ashram. I felt the freedom I’d heard people talk about and the ecstatic happiness that came in waves. It no longer bothered me to have to wear a red dress to gather my morning toast – I wanted to. I wanted to be part of this thing that was making me feel like I’d never felt before.

Yet I still had resistance, for all my life I’ve lived by the conviction that no one will control me. I often extended this too far and put barriers where they weren’t necessary. It’s a lonely path. I was so afraid Osho would control me and suddenly like the Heaven’s Gaters I’d be committing suicide to catch the next space ship going through the galaxy. Slowly the unconditional love Osho radiates began to permeate my fears. I began to trust his love and hear his words differently. I saw his eyes light up when he laughs. I wanted to commit the ego suicide necessary to just experience a glimpse of what this man has. He was becoming less of a threat and more of a friend. I knew I was ready to take the leap and finally try something in my life that my ego might not approve of.

On September 7, 1996 I became Ma Prem Dakshina. Taking sannyas was an experience more beautiful than I could have imagined. I cried, laughed, sang and was showered with love and flowers from fellow seekers. But I knew it was right when I was seated in front of Anando – full of fear, crying with my eyes tightly closed, and she whispered to me, “Look at Osho.” I looked and this big grin came over my face. She laughed and said, “You never have to be alone again.” Thank you. Now I know I don’t.

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