Verses and drawings of an Osho lover
IN THIS MONTH’S guest post for The Culturium, Rashid Maxwell—writer, poet, artist, beekeeper—shares a series of previously unpublished sketches, made during his time spent in darshan with the spiritual teacher, Osho, with their accompanying lines of poetry arriving retrospectively only in recent years.
The complemental synthesis of verse and drawings is not only in honour of Rashid’s love for his Indian Master but also recognition that the moniker “Osho” is synonymous with the virtues of Truth, Love, the Self—attributes which are inherent in all of us, forever and always.
Osho said, ‘Tell Rashid that when he is taking notes he should be taking notes.’ Those were his words. Ma Neelam, Osho’s secretary, handed me back the sketchbook I had earlier submitted to the Master for approval. In it were 24 mounted drawings of him made during the recent morning discourses.
‘Drawing in discourse?’ you might ask with a hint of shocked reproach. ‘How could that be?’
When we first returned to Poona Two [the time when Osho returned to Poona after his world tour until his death in January 1990] in January of 1987, we had neither the manpower nor technology to properly collate Osho’s recorded words. Two or three of us sat on daily rotation in the front row and made notes of the shifting subjects about which he was speaking.
Sometimes Osho would stay elaborating one particular topic. Then I would draw him. At any moment, he might change the subject; I had to be quick. Indeed, sometimes the drawing happened so rapidly that my mind had no time to intervene.
After a few weeks, the commune had sufficiently reassembled for the practice to be discontinued. The drawings were mostly on cheap lined paper or on thin carbon copy tissue; some drawn with pencil or biro, some with a felt marker pen.
I had carefully mounted them into the sketchbook and sent them to him with certain expectations of acclaim or approval. A master is predictably unpredictable, however. He uses any passing moment to deflate a puffed-up ego.
Rashid’s ego took the hit and kept the drawings safe. And even if not to the Master’s taste, they are fulfilling to mine.
Some 33 years later, these following verses, like unexpected visitors, appeared daily for a month or two. They are complemental offerings of love to the One always here.
—Rashid Maxwell, A Master for Life
In all the garden greenery
a single crimson rose
leans towards the sun
like i lean to you
Sometimes i gaze out at this troubled world,
what’s the point i think
you reassure me
that there is no point
I lie in the long grass
beneath a circle of cerulean sky
the one single tattered cloud dissolves
like me with you
I struggle often with the current
then remember to fall back
float in oceanic stillness
that you are
Last night in the silence
the knitted wollen silence
i could hear
So beautiful this morning light
so beautiful an infant’s smile
so beautiful my life with you
so beautiful to disappear
When first i arrived at your ashram gate
the gates of my heart flung wide
now i’m submerged in silence
adrift in the infinite ocean
Each day i roll that boulder up the hill
enjoy the sweat and watch it
bounce and crash into the valley floor
celebrate everything you say
this changed my life
In the golden glow of autumn woods
and the clammy darkness of the abyss
you are the one
the one always here
To be enlightened in this life
dream on little ego
i’m grateful for a master’s inspiration
forever i remain your devoted
The scythe cuts swathes through
clover grass and wildflowers
i heard you say that
life and death
In the stillness at noon
not a leaf moves
the mind too becomes quiet
- Rashid Maxwell’s website
- Rashid Maxwell on Amazon
- Rashid Maxwell: To Save the Planet With a Paintbrush
- Rashid Maxwell: Contagion of Silence
- Wassily Kandinsky: Concerning the Spiritual in Art
- Ana Ramana: Hymns to the Beloved
- Ditmar Bollaert: Arunachala Pradakshina