It was at Ajja’s ashram in Puttur, Karnataka, that Vimala Thakar’s name first came up. We were told that a woman lived in Mt. Abu who had become enlightened through J. Krishnamurti, and that she was available for visitors.
On our way north through India we went through Rajasthan. We arrived in Mt. Abu and chose a guesthouse from Lonely Planet. After settling in, we informed the manager that we were interested in visiting Vimala Thakar and asked if he knew of her. We had chosen well. The guesthouse was located less than 100 meters from her house and the manager himself was a friend of hers. He called and made arrangements for an appointment for us the following day.
We arrived and were shown into a small sitting room where we met Vimalaji. A tremendous force of presence surrounded her. We introduced ourselves and told her that we were Osho sannyasins. She spoke to each of us about the names Osho had given us. Vimalaji asked us about our travels in India and in general about the life we were living, allowing life itself to lead the way.
Over tea Vimalaji told us that Osho had invited her to Jabalpur to speak at the university where he was chair of the Philosophy Department. Osho took her out on the Narmada River in a boat and then to the Kwality Ice Cream shop in town. She said she chided him about his taste in food because it was not good for his health, and that she felt like an older sister but that Rajneeshji was Rajneeshji, meaning that he wasn’t one for listening to advice. Vimalji also said that she was sad for what had happened to him in Oregon.
I told her that I didn’t know much about her but had heard the story concerning Krishnamurti and her experience and wanted to ask her about it. She proceeded to relate the story that you will find in her book On an Eternal Journey. She stated that if one wants to say that the transformation that happened to her was through the grace of Krishnaji, she was fine with that. I will let her tell you the story in the link above, so you will not need to rely on my memory.
When our time was up Vimalji gave us four of her books. The giving was a very deliberate act and seemed pregnant with significance. I had never read any of her books, but because of this event, I paid special attention and kept a look out for what might jump out at me and shout, “This! This! This is for you.” Here is one such statement:
In meditation, there is no movement. Life has no movement: it is only matter that has movement. Movement and energy are the property of matter. Life is is-ness without any movement whatsoever. That which remains without movement can be called neither individual nor universal. It has no center and no circumference. Intellectual activity has a center, the me, the self, the ego. Awareness as the activity of the intelligence has the whole human body, the human individual, as the center. Beyond awareness, the individual is not at the center. Nothing moves out of the individual. Nothing emanates or radiates from the person. Just as in the state of observation there is no ego-centered activity, so in the state of awareness, the whole cerebral organ does not function. Beyond awareness, the individual entity and the movements contained in the individual entity are simply not there. I wish that I could verbalize this more fully. – The Movement of Mind.
This has proved to be extremely helpful. Thank you, Vimalaji.
In some ways her style of teaching is reminiscent of J. Krishnamurti which is not surprising. But because she too was a University professor and had studied Western Philosophy and Psychology she includes that breadth of knowledge that Osho brings into his discourses.
Two of her books are easily available in the west through Rodmell Press. The book I mentioned above, On an Eternal Journey, I have not been able to find copies for sale, but you can download it from the link above.
This post is from a collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that have occurred to me along the Way titled From to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.
Here is the link for the Chris Parish interview Set Them on Fire.
For more posts on Vimala Thakar look here.