A few years ago before leaving his body, Veeresh asked his friends to remember him as a Man of Osho. I don’t think Satya Priya exactly specified how she would like to be remembered, but I and many of those whose lives she touched and transformed will remember her as a Woman of Osho.
Priya ran the Osho Padma Center in New York City for more than forty years out of her small apartment in the West Village. I can’t imagine opening my own home on such a daily basis to all manner of crazy seekers, but this is what she did. And she did it well — with a lot of heart, humor, and totality. Osho Padma is the oldest, most consistent Osho center in America. Countless people found their way to Pune, to Osho, and to meditation through it. I remember one of the first times I attended one of Priya’s Sunday events. Ever mischieveous and wise, she said to me in a break between meditations: “Milarepa, next we are all going to run down the street, shouting and screaming like mad people, all the way to the river.” She studied my face for a moment and then smiled, “Scares you, doesn’t it?” Ahh, Priya. You will be missed.
I never really knew Priya very well until I started living closer to New York. As I hung out with her more, I would sometimes coax her to talk about her past. She was always such a mystery to me. Living in the moment as she did, I know the past was really not her thing. But I did discover she had been a journalist for a teen magazine in the 60’s and that one of her assignments was being embedded with The Beatles on one of their tours. And I know John was her favorite. On another occasion, she told me that she was born in a lower Manhattan apartment complex near the Brooklyn Bridge, and that as a child she remembered taking trips to see her grandparents in Queens when Queens was still all farms. Imagine? Priya was quintessential New York.
I could go on but I am going to keep this short. I will finish by saying there was no bullshit with Priya. In fact, I hear her voice now in the back of my head saying, “Bullshit, Milarepa!” If there ever was a rebellious heart overflowing with the Osho, it was, is, and will be Satya Priya. She would sometimes say, “My name means “Beloved of the Truth”. What can I do?”
A mutual friend just wrote me and I feel his words pretty much sum up Priya in a nutshell: “I thank existence for bringing her into my life. She shook my world for sure and brought the impossible to the everyday. Amazing.” Indeed, amazing. So incredibly amazing, our Satya Priya. I’ve made a little tribute with one of her favorite Osho songs to celebrate and honor her remarkable life and death. In all gratitude… Thank you, Priya.