Celebrating Death The Osho Way Becomes a Song and Dance

“Celebrate Life, Celebrate Death,” says the Enlightened Master Osho. Applying the first part is easy and enjoyable but applying the second half seems impossible. Swami Anand Dwarka (legal name Dwarkadass R. Morjaria), aged 76, left his body with a joyous celebration on 20 September 2010 at the feet of his Enlightened Master, Osho, in Pune. Despite leaving his body, he left his warm smile, loving hug and lively humour for all who knew him.

After he and his soul mate, Ma Prem Sushila, moved to Pune about four years ago, he led an active life of regular exercise and meditation. In the last six months, he had been battling with cancer and yet remained positive and cheerful right up to the end of his days. Accompanied by his family and friends, his body arrived to a memorable welcome at the Osho International Meditation Resort as hundreds of Osho disciples sang and danced for him. All of them then formed a happy procession of singing and dancing disciples to the nearby burning ghats where the last rites took place. And when his family returned, they were still humming and swaying with high energy.

A professional photographer, he was affectionately known as ‘DD’ in Nairobi, Kenya, where he established his studio, Photos Limited, in the Sixties. His vast network of personal, social and business contacts ensured that he was always present to click the memorable moments for his clients. As a news cameraman, he covered most historical events in Kenya for many decades. As an active member of the Nairobi Lions Club and the Masonic Lodge, he had been honoured with many awards. As a member of the local Indian community, he was recognised with glowing tributes. As a sportsman, he was always eager for a game. He enjoyed himself to the full – always ready to live intensely, love totally and laugh heartily.

After listening to Osho and participating in Osho meditations, one day in 1975, he casually announced that was ready to become an Osho disciple. After his initiation, he declared that he was giving up smoking, liquour and meat. And he stuck to his resolve.

In 1978, India’s Prime Minister Morarji Desai, severely criticised by Osho earlier, arrived in Nairobi to attend the state funeral of Kenya’s President Jomo Kenyatta. The Indian High Commissioner arranged for a press interview with me as an editor of Kenya’s top newspaper ‘The Nation’ and the Special Correspondent of India’s biggest news agency, PTI. When Desai came and saw both of us dressed in orange with Osho rosaries, he declined the interview. Both of us were determined to get an interview. We turned up at Nairobi Airport before his departure and again requested for the interview. He declined again and as he winced being photographed with an Osho disciple, DD managed to click my photo with him!

Some years later, he was shot through his head and throat during an armed, daylight robbery in his studio in Nairobi. There was little hope for him. Against all odds, he survived and again started to talk and led an active life. Had he had left his body in Nairobi, there would be literally thousands of his relatives and friends who would turn up to for their final farewell. In Pune, he had a very blessed send-off that echoes the words of his master, Osho, “Only a person who has enjoyed his life becomes capable of enjoying his death. And if you are capable of enjoying your death, you have defeated death. Then there is no more birth for you and no more death for you — you have learnt the lesson.”

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