For the last few days, ever since the images of ailing Vinod Khanna a.k.a. Swami Vinod Bharti showed up on my WhatsApp and various social networking sites, I am noticing a cascade of emotions and messages on display. Some calling it insensitive and humiliating, to share such an image, some professing their love, a fraternity member offering his healthy organ(s) to replace his ailing one(s) and some asking for the healing energies to be sent his way (and some even pretending to do that) for a speedy recovery.
For whatever this may be worth, here is my two cents:
A charismatic personality, veteran actor, an honest politician (yes, you read that right) and an authentic (not fanatic) Osho disciple, Vinod is one of the finest I have met in this life. I have had the opportunity to interact, observe and spend some time with him in my younger days and have been touched by his genuineness.
Apart from the issue of invasion of privacy, as I am not sure if those responsible for sharing his hospital picture had an expressed consent to do the same, I don’t feel it is insensitive or humiliating in any way. To me, and believe me I am neither a fan, nor a hero worshiper (those who are aware of Vinod and my association will vouch for that), he is beautiful, he is as beautiful in his frailty as in his strength, as beautiful in his old age as he was when young, and his merger into the eternity will be as beautiful as his life – a life lived to the fullest, unashamedly, unapologetic and truthful.
When I look at the picture that some have described as humiliating; I see love, I see family, I see Kavita, ever graceful, living the promise – “In sickness and in health…”, I see a life lived intensely, I see a man standing in all his frailty, yet, full of acceptance, as if saying – “Hey, I can take this, I have been a witness to many phases of life and I am a witness to this one as well…”
I wonder why are we so scared of frailty, old age, sickness, death, knowing fully well that these are as much a part of our life as strength, youthfulness and health. Unlike those wishing/ praying for his speedy recovery and asking everyone to send their healing energies while in denial of the inevitability of death (his and ours), I pray, “Bless all sentient beings with a Life lived in Meditation, Love and Joy ~ in Totality. Bless all sentient beings with the gift of Acceptance, Awareness and Compassion. Bless all sentient beings with a Conscious Death embraced in Bliss, Utter Fulfillment, Celebration ~ Nirvana…”
~ Swami Akhil Saraswati
- Thanks to Vinod for being himself.
- Thanks to Kavita for being a woman of substance.
- Thanks to Vinod’s family and friends for being a wonderful support.
- Special thanks to Irrfan Khan for his heart felt message offering to donate his organ(s).
- I feel there are a very few, actually capable of praying or sending healing energies, most can only pretend.
- Thanks to all those, Osho’s sannyasins or otherwise, who are genuinely concerned about Vinod’s well being and love the man.
- Most importantly, this post is not an adulation. I am pretty aware of some of Vinod’s traits that may be considered by many as unsavory or weaknesses. Well, who doesn’t have some of those?