Friday, September 16, 2005

Disha's Death Celebration

Yesterday I attended the death celebration for a very beautiful woman.

For many of us it is hard to marry the word death with celebration. Ma Anand Disha was a sannyasin (a devotee) of Osho and Osho is very clear that death is as much a matter for celebration as anything else in life. He describes death as a final let go, an ultimate surrender of the body vehicle, an opportunity for the spirit/soul to merge again with the oneness of existence.

A sannyasin myself for many years, I have attended a few death celebrations.
But yesterday I didn't want to go.

Disha was such a truly precious being.
She had a way of making everyone feel like her best, most beloved friend.
Dying so suddenly and so young (she was 36) it just didn't seem fair, it didn't seem right that the world, that we, that I in particular was bereft of the beauty of her presence and the unconditional love that she radiated to everyone she came in contact with. I didn't want it to be true. And I didn't want to celebrate.

But I founds some friends to drive with and went anyway.
And I am so grateful that I did.

The celebration was held at Samasati, the exquisite rainforest property that Disha shared with a group of friends. We arrived and were directed to the house where she had lived and where her body was laid out in a bed of petals. One by one the many many friends walked through in silence.

It was a sad sad shock for me to see her body, so still, peaceful and beautiful, and so very clearly no longer the home to the radiant being that was Disha.
Not there, so where?
I grieved her absence with my tears.
From her room we were led out on to her veranda, perched high on the steep side of the valley with an extraordinary, expansive view over the rainforest below. The valley, the birds soaring and wheeling in the late afternoon light, the peace, this felt more like Disha.
The promise of hope, like a tiny shimmer of light flickered through my aching heart.

Back out on the front lawn, chai and cake and other goodies were available. Old friends and complete strangers sat and sipped in silence, hugged and chatted. United by our connection with one gorgeous woman, hearts open, tears so near to the surface, this was a tea party with such sweetness and softness. Here you are again Disha.

As dusk fell we lined the path to the Samasati meditation hall and showered the body with more rose petals as it was borne by her friends to the hall. Gathering around the body there was space for sharing and an opportunity to speak of Disha and to her. Delightful, funny stories of special moments with her, heart-rending acknowledgement of the grief and loss felt by those close to her. What a roller coaster ride of feeling. Better to ride it than fight it I began to realise. Nice one Disha.

As the sharing drew to a close Disha's mother Nandan read for us the message to her friends, that Disha had written in her Will.

"I love you beyond the form of this body, I know there is so much more than this physical domain and I trust this mysterious existence...

I am eternally grateful that I have been so blessed to live this beautiful life. It could not have been more beautiful and I could not have felt more loved by you all. I am eternally in love with you in my gratitude and sweet preciousness and I pray you will be at peace and happy after my body has gone .. and enjoy every day of your precious existence."

Oh Disha. How many of us, at 36 years of age, have written words to sustain our friends and beloveds after our passing. Thank you, you clever, wonderful woman.

The evening progressed with more surges of joy and sadness, punctuated with food, connecting, silence, singing and readings from Osho. Finally at about midnight we took Disha's body into the small meditation room and cleared the big hall for dancing.

It was on the dance floor that I really found her again.
She loved to dance and it seemed as if she said "Oh goody, now the party is really starting!"
I felt her as a swirling golden light dancing all around, above us, through us and within us.
Light dancing in the 'direction of bliss' (the meaning of her name).
I started to understand, this is what the celebration is about.
And this is where Disha lives on.
Here in my heart, inspired and reminded by her beauty to look at the world full of love and to dance with her into bliss.

Thank you dear Disha .....
and thank you so much to all the friends and beloveds who orchestrated her wishes and created such a wonderful, heartfelt celebration of her death.

For more about Disha, pictures and messages please visit Rupda's beautiful website

For some of Osho's discourses on Death and more about death celebrations visit


philgonzo76922678 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Devakrishna said...

thank you for your sweet sharing.
I linked this blog to my site dedicated ti Disha at:


Denise Linn said...

Thank you so much for this posting. Although I have only just heard of Disa. I am touched by her from beyond the veil. I can feel her sweet grace and I am blessed by the the love that she shared and received from many.

S-n-E-h-A-l = SEA = WIDE = OPEN = DEEP said...

i was looking for "celebration of death" in google, and came with your website as the first result. i read the whole article, and felt myself surrounded by peace. i think i am lucky to read the article written by you. it is really your dedication to the soul of disha. may disha's soul rest at peace.

Dark Daughta said...

Thank you so much. I come out of a mournful, uncomfortable, emotionally stifled death gathering experience.

What you describe is what I want to have happen whether I die tomorrow or twenty years from now. I don't have many friends. But no matter. The essence of what you've described will work as well for five as it would for twenty or forty or one hundred.

Thank you so much for this release, for this hopeful, loving, celebratory description.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your grief, and heartfelt, description of life. My brother just passed away, Im attending the viewing and funneral next week. The is the first of the family to go. Jusst getting some ideas.
Thank you
Peace and blessings