Swami Buddhen

September 24, 1950 – January 31, 2004

Swami Buddhen, a sannyasin since 1980 and my friend and lover of eight years, left his body on January 31 after a seven-month-long fight with cancer.

Last June in Pune some tumors were found in his belly, and after several wrong diagnoses, the tumors were determined to be melanoma. We went to Germany for treatment and stayed with Buddhen’s mother. It was a discouraging and difficult time, and the cancer moved fast, despite chemotherapy and a number of radical natural treatments.

Being with him as he died was an experience I will never forget. Sitting for hours with his body afterward, I was filled with both silence and celebration. About two hours after he left, a smile slowly appeared on hisface and an expression of incredible bliss.

Buddhen was a musician, a psychologist, an astrologer, and a Heilpraktiker (naturopath). During Ranch times he lived and worked as a handyman in the Munich Commune and spent six months at the Ranch on the RHT program, working in the welding shop. He came to the Ranch each summer for the Master’s Day Celebrations.

He left the Commune in 1986 and returned to his hometown in Peine, Germany, where he opened a practice as a naturopath (he had trained in naturopathy years before). In 1992 he decided to move to Pune and jumped into the music scene there, becoming a regular musician for White Robe and Sannyas Celebration.

He was an accomplished and incredibly sensitive guitarist, and we met through the music, since I often sang with the band. In 1999 Karuna invited us to Massachusetts to lead a creativity and celebration group, which was part of her summer group program. Thus began several years of traveling together, leading singing and celebration groups.

Just before he discovered the cancer, Buddhen had been studying sitar and flute and was preparing to record his music. I am sad that he was not able to complete his musical visions. I miss him very much.

During the months of Buddhen’s illness, although we were isolated from other sannyasins, I always felt the support of friends; they e-mailed from all over the world, especially Pune. I feel blessed by our buddhafield, which is always embracing all of us.

We had a beautiful send-off celebration for Buddhen at Osho Risk in Denmark. I am so grateful to Osho for teaching us how to celebrate death. Many of us agreed that we really must remember to do that for each other!

Love, Ma Deva Aneesha