LoveOsho podcast E060 Veena (on Nirvano)

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This is one of the LoveOsho podcasts. It was recorded on 11 December 2019.

Episode E060: Keeping Osho on planet earth
with Ma Prema Veena
listen to the interview: or click to play in your browser.

Nirvano was the only person with direct private access to Osho at all times and her relationship with Osho goes far beyond our comprehension. In this episode Veena, who was Nirvano’s close friend, shares many happy and intimate moments spent with her, giving us a sense of Nirvano’s role in Osho’s life. Veena combines love and intelligence to offer us a meaningful picture of a beautiful disciple who dedicated her whole life to support Osho’s work.
Welcome back to the podcast!
Today is a special episode dedicated to Nirvano. Nirvano was Osho’s most intimate disciple, and lived in close physical proximity to Osho from 1972 to 1989. We are very fortunate to have Veena back on the show - you can listen to Veena’s previous interview on episode 3.
Veena was Nirvano’s close friend and spent many intimate moments with her.
Nirvano was the only person with direct private access to Osho at all times and her relationship with Osho goes far beyond our comprehension. In this episode Veena, who was Nirvano’s close friend, shares many happy and intimate moments spent with her, giving us a sense of Nirvano’s role in Osho’s life. Veena combines love and intelligence to offer us a meaningful picture of a beautiful disciple who dedicated her whole life to support Osho’s work.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:
  • How Veena first met Nirvano
  • Veena describes Nirvano’s job and her daily routine organising Osho’s life
  • Caring for the delicate body of an Enlightened Master
  • Managing a Team of about 10 people who looked after Osho’s body and necessities
  • Nirvano dedicates her whole life 24h to support Osho and helping him do his work
  • Nirvano (and the secretary) were the only people who had private access to Osho
  • Absorbing Osho’s energy on a daily basis
  • Nirvano’s relationship with Osho
  • Nirvano: Osho’s anchor to planet earth
  • Nirvano: a Zen Master in her own right
  • Nirvano taught Veena to see Osho as energy, not as a person
  • Veena talks about the tragic events surrounding Nirvano’s death
  • After many years since Nirvano’s death, Veena feels her laughing presence during a silent meditation retreat
  • Veena shares happy moments with Nirvano and how she likes Nirvano to be remembered

see also
Ma Prem Nirvano - more information about Nirvano, with Veena as co-editor
Veena’s website
Veena on Facebook
LoveOsho podcast E003 Veena - about Veena's own experiences
LoveOsho podcast E136 Michael Graham - the man who introduced Nirvano to Osho
The LoveOsho podcasts

interview transcript

Swaram: We are very happy to have Veena on the show today who, as Nirvano’s close friend, is happy to tell us a bit about Nirvano. So Veena, welcome to the show. To start, please tell us how you first met Vivek, later to be known as Nirvano.
Veena: It was early 1972 when Osho was living in Woodlands in Bombay (now Mumbai). He was giving a series of talks at a place called Cross Maidan, and I was living in the famous Rex Hotel which many people will know about, and I went along to this place. When I arrived, it was very daunting because there must have been about 300 or 400 Indians, and Ma Yoga Taru, was there as the main Kirtan leader (*1) and the Indians were all going a bit crazy. I thought: “Well, I am not going to do that!” and so I just sat on the side for a while and was wondering what to do. Then I saw there was a very exquisite young (Western) woman sitting at the end of about the fifth row and so I thought maybe I could go and join her and sit with her. So I went over to her and said: “Do you mind if I sit with you as I feel a bit lonely.” She said: “Yes, me too! Please sit down.” So I did! That was Nirvano, and that was my first meeting with her.
After the discourse we went back to Woodlands together – that was the apartment that Osho lived in. I hadn’t met Nirvano before even though I had been to the meditation camp in Matheran (*2) in January. She wasn’t there then. In Woodlands there were 2 bedrooms, and Osho shared one bedroom with his sister and Laxmi lived in the other bedroom and Nirvano slept on a mattress in the living room, which wasn’t exactly comfortable or private! After a few days – it was actually quite strange – Laxmi came over and said: “We have found an apartment for you and Nirvano to stay in (because she knew I was living at this very hippie-ish Rex Hotel).” Laxmi said that apparently somebody was going away for a few months and they had this flat and if Osho needed it, it could be used. So Nirvano and I ended up in this very posh flat with marble floors and bathrooms and everything, and we lived there for 3 or 4 weeks. And it was just so easy.... She was a very reserved person so she didn’t say much.
Then suddenly Osho called us in one day and said that he wanted us to go to Mount Abu together. Now I knew that there was a meditation camp coming up in a few weeks, and usually people would go up in a kind of convoy, but no, Osho wanted us both to go up there now. And I thought: “Oh my god! Travelling on an Indian train and getting tickets and all that....” But fortunately, the tickets were already bought for us, so Nirvano and I got into the ‘Ladies’ carriage on the train, which went first to Ahmedabad and then on to Mount Abu Station.
Ma Taru had told us about an ashram there where we could stay and she had given us a letter of introduction and so we got in a taxi and we went to this ashram. But when we got there, the Indian monks were very taken aback to have these 2 young girls coming to say that were going to come and live with them! And they showed us this room which was absolutely horrendous, with cow-dung floors. And it stunk, it absolutely stunk, so I went over to the small window and there was a ditch with raw sewage flowing through it just outside our window!!!! We looked at each other and said: “No way!”
But I had an idea! Coming into Mt Abu I had seen a sign saying 'Dak Bungalow’. In the old days, the English had established these Dak bungalows all over India, so they knew they had a decent place to stay when they travelled on official business. I said to Nirvano: “Come on, let’s get our bags. We’re going there!” So we picked up our things and marched out, without saying goodbye to the rude monks and when we got there it was absolutely fantastic -- Indian-style with these huge ceilings, and gardens and the caretaker was just delighted to have us. We paid a whole 2 ½ rupees a night, and he cooked for us and took care of us. It was absolutely blissful and we had a wonderful time exploring Mount Abu until Osho came for the camp.
Swaram: Okay, brilliant...obviously I’m aware that this was the beginning of a life-long friendship with Nirvano, and that later on, you lived in Osho’s house with her. Of course later on we will go into the details of Osho’s relationship with Nirvano – or hers with him – but for now, let’s say that Nirvano was looking after Osho’s daily needs. So can you describe what was Nirvano’s job?
Veena: I think very few people have an understanding of how delicate and fragile an enlightened person’s body is and how much care had to be taken of Osho’s body.
The routine was for Nirvano to give him his tea in the morning because that was terribly important! And to give him his medication because he had a kind of diabetes, although not a serious one. Although there was somebody to take care of cleaning his room and other practical things, she took care of all his needs, and basically his whole life! She organised everything -- his clothes, medical needs, etc -- and then she turned secretary and took care of all the ashram business which was done in the afternoon, between 3 and 5, in Pune One. That was also when Laxmi would come with ashram business.
I must make it clear that very few people saw Osho in a private capacity; no one went into his room unless there was business to be done.
Nirvano had a team of people supporting her to look after Osho, so for example Shunyo was doing the laundry -- very important, Amrito was looking after the medical side and Devageet was looking after any dental work that was needed. At that point, I was the only person working in the sewing room, and my job was sewing his clothes and anything that was needed to be done in his room, like the curtains (and I’ll tell you a funny story about that later on!) So Nirvano’s job was to supervise the team supporting her, which was busy with looking after Osho’s body, taking care of it. There were extreme hygienic circumstances: only Shunyo touched a garment after it had been washed before it went into him so that there was no danger of us spreading any germs because Osho caught colds very easily.
And then there were the cooks, Mukti, Nirgun and others... And so there was a team of about 10 people looking after him so that when he needed to go to give the morning discourse or Darshan in the evening, the clothes were ready, the shoes were ready, the matching socks were ready, the hat…. And then there were the photo sessions…. Nirvano supervised everything, she was a managing director as well as a nurse! And when the Energy Darshans started, she was in charge of all the mediums and that was a really big job – a lot of things going on under the surface there.
So she dedicated her life 24 hours a day to taking care of him -- not only for him but also so that he was able to do his work with all of us. And I’m shocked that there has been so much jealousy and hatred, and bad things said against her, whereas in fact, we should be down on our knees thanking her for taking such good care of him.
Swaram: So you mentioned that there was a team of around 10 people taking care of Osho’s daily needs, and other activities, and his coming out to give discourses, but that Osho also had a very private life and that Nirvano was perhaps the only one who had access to him, so would you like to tell us a little bit more: could the people in the house go to his room, or was Nirvano the only one?
Veena: There were 2 people (in Pune1) who had access to him, Nirvano and Laxmi, the Ashram secretary who saw him in the afternoon. The people in the house had no access to him whatsoever, and in fact, even when he went from his room to the balcony in Nirvano’s room to have his meals, we were very clear that we were not supposed to be in the passageway, nor on the stairway. We were very aware of his routine and to never, ever, ever disturb him.
But if work was needed to be done in his room…. For example, Nirupa did the cleaning of his room. That was done when he was eating, so he was out of the room on Nirvano’s balcony. I had to go into his room on occasions -- mainly to fix the curtains, which gave us endless problems. But I did that during discourse. So if any work was needed to be done, it was done during discourse or darshan, so that he never actually met us. But if we had questions, yes, Nirvano would go in and ask him; but that was never on any personal basis, it was purely functional, to do with the job. And Laxmi would go in in the afternoon with ashram business and with the questions which people had asked him for discourse, and he would select which questions he wanted to answer. But otherwise no personal contact at all, even with the guards…. There was the whole ‘samurai’ story in Pune 1. (*3) At Osho’s request, there was always a guard (samurai) outside his door and in the garden 24 hours a day making sure that no one would ever go in and disturb his silence.
Swaram: From talking to sannyasins, I got the impression that it was not easy to be in Osho’s physical presence, that his energy field was so strong that people could not even function properly. If that was the case perhaps you can confirm it out of your own personal experience later. But for now, I’d love to talk about the relationship between Nirvano and Osho. How did Nirvano manage that, how did she manage to absorb Osho’s energy and carry on with her daily duties on a daily basis?
Veena: Oh that’s quite a question, that I don’t think I can answer.
I guess it goes back to what we have been discussing about spiritual things. The more your body is in harmony, the more energy you can take…and I think that she had actually hit quite a high level, and therefore was able to absorb it. I never felt that she was in any way dysfunctional, in the way that I was…. I already told you that story about when I went in to fix the curtains, and the energy in the room was so strong, it just hit me and I collapsed onto the floor, but she just calmly went about tidying the room, the paper he had been reading and the pens, looking over at me and laughing until I had recovered -- and then we could talk about the curtains. In that sense, she was very strong, but I also wonder if that constant absorption of energy, especially during the energy darshans, where she was his main medium, and the energy that he was ploughing through her every night, spread to so many other people, may have resulted in weakening her resistance too.
Swaram: Ok, and you have mentioned something about Nirvano’s illness and we’ll talk about that towards the end of the show when we talk about her death, but for now I’d love to talk about the relationship between Nirvano and Osho. This relationship is quite mysterious, an object of much speculation. Some people say that Nirvano was the girlfriend or the ‘lover’ of Osho, or the caretaker, and we also know that Nirvano had love affairs and boyfriends, so what is your understanding of Nirvano’s relationship with Osho?
Veena: Probably this is the most important point in our whole talk. As far as I‘m concerned, from my observation of the two of them together -- and this has been confirmed by quite a number of my close friends who were also close to her -- Nirvano’s function was to keep Osho here on the planet. Now that may sound strange and esoteric (and I think it is!) but Osho had spoken quite often about how fragile the body of an enlightened person is -- that once a person becomes enlightened, his connection with the planet, the earth and its people, ends. Basically, he should take off into existence! And he said that various masters did everything they could to remain in the body to help as many people as they could. So for example, I remember him talking expressly about the enlightened Indian master, Ramakrishna, who was always eating and always asking for food. And one of his disciples said to him: ”This is really terrible, you are enlightened and you should not be so attached to food!” And the master said: “The day I stop eating is the day I die.” And this is what happened. He stopped eating and he died. Osho said it was only the food, the physical eating and processing of the food in his body that kept him in his body and related to the earth. And when he felt it was time for him to go, he stopped eating and died.
Most enlightened masters had wives or women to take care of them. It’s the whole Taoist thing of male and female, and the balance between them which allows enlightened people to stay longer. I feel very, very strongly that Nirvano was Osho’s anchor to this planet.
And on a personal level, I don’t think it is my or anyone’s business to know exactly what their relationship was…all I know that it was almost beyond comprehension. The depth, the strength, the beauty was almost beyond me, but I'll tell you one story once which was absolutely mind-blowing. It was after discourse, in Chuang Tzu, in Pune 1, and Nirvano always used to go out of the door and wait for him, out of the way, so that he could walk out backwards still ‘ namaste-ing’ to everyone. This time he turned around, just maybe 2 feet from the door and she was standing in the door and I was watching and I saw this energy connection from the Hara (DanT’ien in Chinese) of both of them and it was so strong, almost like she was pulling him, and they were both smiling and looking into each other’s eyes. I was stunned to see their energy connection. So strong! It affected me deeply. So to reduce their relationship to something that we can understand is futile. You just have to accept that their relationship was on a completely other plane.
Just very recently Bhagawati sent me a photo of Osho in Lisbon, and he was leaving to go back to India and Nirvano had to go and get visas and stuff like that so she could not accompany him, and she’s kneeling in front of him and you just have to look at the photo to see how strong and how deep that relationship was.
She could roll her eyes up to heaven when he was making impossible demands and she could also be very cross with us if we didn’t perform exactly as was needed! But if people could only understand that, then all the speculation about boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. just disappears, it just does not exist, because their relationship was on a plane that I don’t think we can even conceive of. And I think that (maybe we talk about this later when we talk about her death) if only people could just understand this and see beyond all the rubbish that is talked about. Their relationship was of incredible beauty and incredible value and her purpose, just to say it again, I am absolutely one hundred percent convinced, was to keep him on the planet for us.
Swaram: Wonderful, well I hope we can access the photo that you just mentioned…and perhaps it can give us a sense of what you just described. So I have heard you saying once that Nirvano was a Zen master in her own right…can you give us an example of that and how she affected you?
Veena: Yes, there were many, many occasions…. One happened very early and it was probably my first actual ‘mini-satori’, back in Woodlands. I was just a regular hippie travelling around India, and I was talking about Osho and she looked at me and laughed and said: “Veena, Osho isn’t a man; he’s just energy!” It changed my whole perception of him immediately and it’s true: from then onwards, he was no longer a person, a man, he was an energy that was channelling existence’s energy as well, directly to us, and so that was a very, very important moment.
And maybe people will laugh at this one…. At the beginning of the year, there was a picture posted on Facebook shared by quite a lot of people, people finding it so wonderful and so on, and I looked at it and thought: if you only knew the story behind it, you would maybe have second thoughts! It was the picture taken in maybe the first Mt Abu (meditation) camp. He used to lead Dynamic personally every morning and one morning he announced (we used to have live music and he used to personally conduct the drummers to make them go more chaotic) that he wanted us all to take our clothes off and do it naked. And I went: ’Oh my God…!’ I’d already experienced a lot of sexual harassment from Indians and Indian sannyasins, and so I was quite angry and I didn’t take my clothes off because I thought: ‘I’m not going to deal with this….’ At this point, I have to get down to the nitty-gritty! At this place, there were no toilets and so we had to go to pee in the bushes, and twice I found Indian men skulking behind the bushes waiting to watch me pee. There was only one other western woman, I think -- Karuna from Denmark -- so we took her boyfriend so that he would chase off the Indian men that were trying to look at us.
And I said to Nirvano later on that day after that discourse: “I’m just so fed up with this constant sexual harassment!” And she pointed to the middle of the meditation field (we were sitting on a balcony at this point) and told me to start screaming: “I hate you fucking Indians!” So I went and started jumping up and down and screaming and then I came back and she kind of nodded her head. But Osho heard about this and he asked her why and she told him what I had said, and the next morning in Dynamic, he announced that no, we should not take our clothes off anymore. And apparently, he gave the most blistering discourse that evening to the Indians (it was all in Hindi then) about sexual harassment and their sexual repression and so on, and that was his first blasting at Indians about their whole sexual repression.
Another time was when I altered the sleeves of his white robe! In the early days, he was wearing the white robe and I took over for someone who was leaving and Nirvano told me to make the robe exactly as it is. So I did that, and even though it was cut very badly, I didn’t change it and made it exactly as it was. The robe was kind of gathered at the sleeves where they joined the shoulder and it did not look good. But after a few weeks when I had got a bit more confident, I thought that I would give it a try and made the sleeves fit nicely, just as a tee-shirt does. Nirvano was furious with me and I tried to explain and said maybe she could just take it in and try it on. But she was really cross with me….! (*4) Anyway she took it in and I was sitting there worrying what kind of a hit I was going to get, and she came back out with a handful of robes and she threw them down and said: “Right, do them all like this by tomorrow!”!!
Anyway, it was little things like this that I was made constantly aware by her of how much I needed to be aware, and how much I needed to surrender to her and also how much I could also just stand up for myself.
Time-wise, she was an absolute stickler for punctuality; one minute late was not good enough.
Swaram: Well, thank you so much for these beautiful anecdotes of your friendship and life with Nirvano, so let’s move on and talk about her tragic departure from the body. She left her body prematurely at the age of 42. It must have been a very painful day in your life to lose your beloved friend. What can you recall about that?
Veena: Yes, it was very traumatic. I had watched her going downhill for a considerable time, and I have written elsewhere about her illness so I won’t repeat it, but there is something that has been published in Osho News so if you want to look at details you can go there and read that.(*5) I was visiting her every day or every second day. She had moved to Krishna House because it was felt that she was no longer able to take care of Osho in the way that he needed, particularly as his own health was going down. And I often wonder to this day that if her health had been better taken care of, would he have stayed around longer to be with us? Because their decline was parallel, they went down together.
Because I was no longer one of the team looking after Osho’s body, I was no longer living in Osho’s house anymore, and I had the day off.(*6) I was down by the river, staying at home (in my room) in one of those ashram places by the river, and the day before that I was very busy trying to get some performance off the ground (I don’t know what it was!). And so I had not actually been to see Nirvano for three days; I’m not sure about Gayan. Gayan and I were her constant visitors, otherwise, there were not many other people visiting except one person who brought her food.
I was away for the day, but I came for the discourse in the evening of course, and in those days I was one of a team of 6 or 9 women who opened the car door and the doors at the back of the podium for Osho, and I was in what I thought of as ‘the hot seat’ -- that was on the right-hand side when I was opening the door of the podium as he went in. After he’d namaste-ed everyone (at the end of the discourse), he came down a little passage to the door, and at that point, there was just you and him -- in this case, me and him -- so it was very strong…. He had just been channelling all this energy into everybody, and it was still coming, and that’s when, yes, it was quite hard to stand up!
But this particular evening I was standing near the car door as the car pulled up, and as he got out of the car I felt stunned -- the only word I can use is just stunned, at the strength of sorrow, such existential sorrow (surrounding him) that I could hardly deal with it, I could not even put a name to it, I didn’t even know what it was. And he walked past me without giving a namaste -- usually, he would walk past and look at each one of us and smile or something. But he didn’t -- he walked straight through onto the podium, and I thought: “What is going on? What is this?” (Remember I had been away all day.) So then while he was namaste-ing the people on the right, we slipped into our seats on the very edge of the seating in Buddha Hall on the left, so that we did not disturb him.
And I just sat there wondering: “What’s going on…?’ -- because I could not fathom it. I had never experienced this because always around him there was either a deep feeling of peace, deep silence, calm, or there was joy, laughter -- but never just an overpowering sorrow. Then we went back behind the podium after the discourse (we would always just slip out so that we could take up our three positions, the car door and the two doors) and, as I said, I was still overwhelmed with feelings of such sorrow. Then he walked down the short passage towards me and for the very first time ever, I could not look him in the eyes, I felt that was intruding. Never ever have I had the feeling of intruding because he was an open book -- you know, he wasn’t there -- but this time I felt that by looking at him I was intruding and so I looked down and stepped back because I felt I was intruding on his space. Then he stopped and put his two hands on either side of my namaste-ed hands and then he looked at me but he didn’t smile or anything…. And then he got in the car and went off.
And I was in such shock, I did not know what had happened (I had not spoken to anyone) and I just ran home and I didn’t meet anyone, so I didn’t know that Nirvano had died. I only heard the next morning she had died the day before. That was his reaction, that depth of existential sorrow that I think we cannot even conceive of.
So yes it was very, very, very strong for me because I knew she was suffering but I had hoped that -- I knew Osho was going to die, that was fairly obvious -- and I just hoped that when he died, she would go and get the treatment that she really needed. I sort of knew that she would not go as long as Osho was in the body, but I hoped that she would then be able to go and get hormonal treatment. I often wonder about what he said about her death, that ‘her death was untimely’. Is this what he meant: that had she been able to stay on longer, she might have been able to recover?
But yes, it was a very intense and tragic time.
Swaram: And did you have a chance to speak with Osho directly after Nirvano’s death?
Veena: No, of course not…I mean, by that point, he was so ill he was not even doing the ashram business; there was nobody going in to see him in the afternoon. I think it was only Anando and his doctors and Shunyo maybe -- but otherwise there was nobody seeing him. It was obvious even then that he was leaving. So, no.
Swaram: And did he say anything publicly, or to anyone privately, about her death, as far as you know?
Veena: Well, you know there was a little picture of her, a little sort of shrine for her in the ashram and his words were that ‘her death was untimely’. And I think it was Anando who said later that Osho said that ‘Nirvano did the best that she could with the body she had in this life’.
But I don’t think that anyone knew more than that. You know, it was private, and it was just accepted, and there is nothing you can do…. He and her - only they knew what was going on.
But can I tell you one ‘esoteric’ thing? I had had various little esoteric connections with Nirvano but after she died…nothing! I thought that was a bit strange because I thought that I would have somehow felt her, felt her presence. But then, 2 years ago, I did the silent retreat at Osho Nisarga and although I was not really that comfortable there, I did have one or two mini-satori’s!!! And one day I had a very deep meditation and in fact, I didn’t even get up and go to where we were supposed to be going to. I just sat there in a very deep silence and suddenly I had the feeling of Nirvano’s presence coming into me and she was laughing and laughing and laughing like the way we used to laugh! Because we really used to laugh. As well as being a strict Zen master we had so many wonderful times together and she was always laughing. She was really a bubbly laughing person. And I just sat there with my eyes closed and she was just floating around me. And she was just laughing and laughing and laughing and then she disappeared. And so I felt she was okay.
Swaram: Riding this wave of laughter I would love to end this episode like this: if you can share with us your happiest moments with Nirvano and how you would like her to be remembered.
Veena: It is difficult to think of one specific incident when we were almost constantly together and she would always be joking about what Osho had said and (what he wanted) so we had to figure out what to do, but she always said it with a laugh. I do remember one time riding around Rajneeshpuram in her Rolls Royce – you know Osho gave her a Rolls Royce which she loved. She had never taken a driving lesson and didn’t have a license or anything! But she could drive an automatic (car). I remember one night we went out to dinner at our (Ranch) restaurant and we got in the car and she turned the car engine on and then she said: “Oh this car’s engine is so silent I don’t even know if I have turned the engine on or not!” and then we reversed out and went back to Lao Tzu House and she said “This is ridiculous! Here I am driving a Rolls Royce on an American Ranch!!!” So, you know, sort of funny things like that.
Oh, one time when she really showed her sense of humour…. This was on the Ranch and Osho had started talking again. They had built a new place in Jesus Grove (*7) and Osho was talking to the press and everything. He demanded a new robe every night, and that meant a new hat as well. Those robes took about 3 to 4 days to make plus the hat took a whole day. So if I was making a hat then I couldn’t be sewing. It was an amazingly stressful time. I mean, we were working 15 hours a day trying to get things done. And then, with one robe we had had particular problems and there he was, ready to go to Jesus Grove, and we were still trying to sew on what we called ‘the wings’ (the side panels). Nirvano came in and at first, she was cross and she said: ”When are you going to be ready? We are already 10 minutes late!”. Then she went out and then came back again and we were saying: ‘We are nearly there, nearly there!!!” And she said, “If you could just see him sitting there with just his socks and the hat on just waiting for your robe!!!” And we all just absolutely cracked up and that helped us to sew faster and faster. He was 20 minutes late!!!
You know… little things like that. She was always fun!
Another thing…. She wanted me to do something in her room in Pune 1, I’ve forgotten what. She came and called me and said: “I want you to do something (in my room).” And I said; “But he (Osho) is eating on the balcony!” Her room had a balcony and he always ate there because he was very sensitive to smells so she didn’t want the smell of food in his room so he ate on her balcony. (I didn’t want to disturb him.) And she said: “Yes, but I want things to be more relaxed so come in. It doesn’t matter if he hears us talking. It’s quite all right!” She was so informal….
One very special thing was when I started to make her clothes. It was early Pune 1 and somebody had made this dress for her. She used to call it her ‘straightjacket’! It was very unflattering! It just went straight up and down! And then suddenly -- I was still editing then. I hadn’t started sewing. In fact, this is probably the beginning of how I started to sew for him -- I saw her walking by and she was wearing this floppy, voluminous dress. And I just thought: “Oh my god, is she pregnant?” And I just thought this dress was awful, didn’t flatter her. She was so beautiful, you know. And then a few days later I got a call to come to the kitchen (in Osho’s house) and she was standing there in another awful dress and she said: “Look, I just got this dress back from the tailor. Somebody had it made for me and it looks awful. Can you fix it? Can you make it look better?” Because she knew I made my own clothes and my boyfriend’s clothes
And I said: ”It’s horrible. Why don’t you just let me make you a dress?” And she said, “Oh no, no, no!” So I said: ”Why not? I am going to make you a dress.” And so I made her a dress and it really fitted and she looked so beautiful. So I brought it to her (finished) and I said: “Now put it on.” So she put it on and looked at herself in the mirror and then said: ” Oh no, no, I can’t wear this!” And she started to take it off but I said: ”Why not?” And she said: ”It’s far too beautiful. I just want to stay in the background.“ And I said: “Come on, come on, come on…. Go and ask Osho. Let him decide what kind of dress you should wear. Really you should wear a dress that makes you look beautiful.” And she went: “Hmmm!” So I told her: “Go on, go on….” I knew he wasn’t asleep then! So she went in and stayed there a little while and then she came back. And I said; “Well?” And she laughed and said: “He said I looked like an angel!” And I said: “So that means yes?” and she said: “Yes.” So, I made most of her clothes from then onwards. She was so sweet. She was never egotistical. Never wanted to put herself forward. Needed to be persuaded to wear a pretty dress.
Oh, wait a minute…. Sorry I haven’t said how I want her to be remembered. That was the end of the question, wasn’t it? I think first of all we owe her an incredible thank you for the care and devotion that she showed for Osho. I am positive that without her devotion he would not have lasted so long or been able to do what he was able to do. She was there for him totally, 24 hours of the day, and that included waking up every night at 2 am to give him his medicine -- so she never had a full night’s sleep. The grace that she did everything with…. How she treated us, the team she worked with, who made so many mistakes because our awareness was nowhere near as great as hers…. I just want her to be remembered for the exquisite person she was.
Swaram: Well, Veena, thank you so much for giving us your point of view, your experiences and giving a picture of Nirvano through your eyes. It is beautiful to have an account from a person who really loved her. And we want to end on this beautiful positive note and share something that is really beautiful and positive about Nirvano. Thank you so much for your contribution. OK, Veena, enough for today.

Footnotes with the transcript
(*1) Kirtan -- singing of sacred songs and chants.
(*2) Matheran -- a small town in the Ghats between Mumbai and Pune where early meditation camps were held. Also see Meditation Camps.
(*3) The ‘samurais were guys who had practised martial arts before they became sannyasins. Osho asked for them to form a team of guards who guarded his room and the garden 24/7. There were some crazy people who tried to gain access to Osho but they were stopped and thrown out by the guards every time.
(*4) She said afterwards that she was afraid that with sleeves cut more tightly, he would not easily be able to raise his arms to ‘namaste’ us and so would be inconvenienced.
(*5) Article in OshoNews: Nirvano, a beloved friend.
(*6) Osho had recently formed the Multiversity with 6 or 7 departments. To each department he appointed a director and, surprisingly, he appointed me as director of ‘Creative Arts’, a new department. This meant I needed to be more accessible to do my job properly so I was given a room in the commune complex.
(*7) Jesus Grove was a kind of Reception Centre at the entrance to Rajneeshpuram where some people connected to the Administration also lived.