Ma Prema Veena
(Rosemary L. Schlegel, BA, B Ed, Cambridge RSA CELTA)
Having travelled overland to India, Veena met Osho in Mumbai in Dec 1971 and took sannyas at a meditation camp held in Matheran, a hill station in the Ghats between Mumbai and Pune, in Jan 1972. In March she went to the first Mt Abu meditation camp in Rajasthan and directly afterwards was sent by Osho to join a ‘Kirtan Mandali’, led by Swami Narendra, travelling around Gujarat.
Osho then asked Veena to open a meditation centre in London and towards the end of the year, with the help of Shyam Singha, she opened the Nirvana Meditation Centre -- the first Osho meditation centre in the West. Supported by Shyam -- then for a time by R.D. Laing, then Paul and Pat Lowe (Teertha and Poonam, who ran a new-age growth centre called Quaesitor) and Michael Barnett (Somendra, who ran another such centre called Kaleidoscope) – the centre rapidly became popular and many people took sannyas and went to India. Among well-known sannyasins who directly or indirectly went to Osho through the Nirvana Meditation Centre were Leela, Yoga Pratima, Sudha, Veeresh, Anam, Shunyo, Garimo, Maneesha, Anurag, Devapama, Somesh, Hugh Milne (Shiva) – and many others.
Veena returned to India in Jan 1974, spent 5 months at Osho’s experimental ‘new commune’ called Kailash near Chandrapur in Maharashtra, then lived in the new ashram in Pune where she started editing and helping to publish Osho’s books. She was invited to be one of Osho’s mediums during this time. After 5 years of editing, she started to sew Osho’s robes and household necessities, to make hats for him, and to design and make the many costumes for photo sessions. She did this until Osho left his body -- apart from two other jobs in Rajneeshpuram in the USA, first as a ‘Twinkie’ in the PR department, and then in the construction department.
After Osho left his body, she urgently needed to make some money, so she went to Japan where she taught English. It was a difficult time because she was seriously ill for 10 years, spending the last 2 years at Croydon Hall, the Osho Centre in Somerset, UK. Recovering from the illness, she got a job as a Youth Hostel Manager in Scotland, quite near to where her old friend, Ma Yoga Punya, and her husband Amiten were living. Together Punya and Veena started the online magazine OshoinUK. This later became the world-wide OshoNews online magazine, still run by Punya and now Bhagawati.
In 2008 Veena’s life changed dramatically when, after seeing a BBC documentary, she embarked on a 12-year-long spiritual adventure, visiting the most sacred mountain in China: Song Mountain. Here she traced Osho’s connections with Taoism, Zen, and,especially, Bodhidharma.
Veena has written 5 books: A Seam for the Master (out of print) about sewing Osho’s clothes and making his hats; A Vanished Road, about her trip overland to India in 1971, ending with a strange introduction to Osho; Glimpses of my Master, about her time as a disciple of Osho (includes the text of A Seam for the Master); A Mountain in China, about her time living alone in a small village in the foothills of Song Mountain, meditating and discovering many connections with Osho; Gulun Kung fu, which she co-wrote with a Chinese Kung fu student, in consultation with the Kung fu master, Master Wu Nanfang. She is currently writing another book, Farewell to Song Mountain, about many more Chinese and spiritual adventures. She regularly writes articles for OshoNews.
- Contact Details
- 2000: Meeting the Master
- 2004: A Seam for the Master
- 2011: A Vanished Road
- 2012: Glimpses of My Master (Chapter 5, Editing Osho's Books, is quoted in full in this Wiki.)
- 2015: A Mountain in China
- 2022: Farewell to Song Mountain
- see also
- Books by Veena on facebook
- A Seam for the Master - An Introduction by Veena
- A review of A Seam for the Master
- Twinkies -- stories from the Ranch's PR dept
- Veena interviewed by Keerti, 2022-07-30 on YouTube.
- LoveOsho podcast E003 Veena - interview on 22 May 2018
- LoveOsho podcast E060 Veena (on Nirvano) - interview on 11 December 2019
- photo gallery
1969 just before meeting Osho
Osho, Veena, and Shyam in Woodlands, Bombay, 1972
Osho and Veena in Woodlands, Bombay, 1972
Mt Abu 1972
Mt Abu 1972
Mt Abu 1972
As a medium in Poona One
As a Twinkie in Rajneeshpuram 1983
At Bodhidharma's Cave, Song Mountain, China 2012
Dunhuang, China 2019