Swami Anand Arun, Up Close and Personal
Swami Anand Arun, a 65 year-old-engineer first saw Osho in 1969 and was tantalized by his physical grace and firing speech. He began spreading Osho’s message in Nepal in 1970 opening a meditation centre at his own residence. Today, Swami Anand Arun is the Co-ordinator of Osho Tapoban International Commune in Nepal which has been spreading Osho’s message and helping seekers throughout the world since last 18 years. Through Swami Arun’s efforts Tapoban has already opened 22 Osho centres and communes in USA, Canada, Russia, UK and Germany and five communes and 60 centres only in Nepal. We sat down and talked with Swami Arun to know more about his experience with Osho and the ever-growing neo-sannyas movement. Here is what he had to say.
Would you please say something about Osho’s life and work?
Sw Arun: It’s very difficult to talk about Osho. He cannot be defined in words. The life of mystics and enlightened masters is like an iceberg. Only a small portion of their life is visible and the major portion remains hidden. He says that first you should know who you are. You should know your centre, your soul. Then you can understand at least a fragment of somebody like Osho who has become oceanic. An easier way is also to love him madly. If you are madly in love with him and you trust him totally, then you may be able to understand some of the mysteries of his life, what he is and what he wants to do for us. So, you either become self realized or fall madly in love with him. I can talk about him and his life endlessly, but it is completely unnecessary. It does not define who he is.
It’s been almost forty years since you met Osho and have been actively working to spread his message. What inspired you to give so much of your life for this movement?
Sw Arun: When I first met Osho forty years ago I was in a totally defeated state. There was no hope or zeal in life and I didn’t want to live. Before I met Osho there was a big question in my mind; What’s the purpose of living? But after I fell in love with him I found my answer. I should live to spread his message and to share his love with the world. I should live to meditate and to celebrate. He has given me this life, its meaning and the reason to live. I have surrendered my life to him and as his disciple I just want to become his medium. It’s not my life and therefore I don’t have any plans for it. He will keep me as long as he wants and I will continue with the same madness.
You have initiated more than fifty thousand people from all over the world and seventy five percent of them are below the age of thirty five. What attracts so many young people to Osho?
Sw Arun: I would like to correct you. I have not initiated anybody. Only a master can initiate. I only inspire people. It is their decision to take sannyas and its Osho’s energy and love that accepts them. I am just a medium. I can become an empty vessel and through me Osho initiates his disciples. You are asking why most of the people are young. Yes, when religion is alive, it attracts young people. All the great things done by great masters were done during their young age. Buddha left his palace at the age of 29 and became enlightened when he was 35. Shankaracharya became enlightened at the age of 16 and died at the age of 32. Vivekananda died at 39 and Jesus died at 33. They were young people and they have done miracles in the world. When you are young energy is alive and you are innocent. Old people become cunning and old minds become greedy. So when religion is young it always attracts young people. Only young people can create miracles. Only young people can be REALLY RELIGIOUS.
What is your opinion about the current global situation?
Sw Arun: The current global situation is very alarming. It looks like we are no more interested in life. We are heading towards total destruction. Global warming, over population, scarcity of water, rupture in the ozone layer are a few indicators to show that the world is moving towards destruction. Osho has said several times that it’s high time we corrected ourselves or we will have to vacate this beautiful planet. Enlightened masters have always been giving the indication but very few people listen to them. But now even sociologists, environmentalists and scientists have started saying that we are heading towards global suicide. It’s now very urgent to correct our mistakes. Osho is a messenger for this transformation; to show where we have made mistakes and how we can correct them.
Your efforts have culminated into numerous meditation centres and communes all over the world.
How do you manage so much?
Sw Arun: People can build houses but they can’t build temples. I have been to several temples built by rich people. Architecturally, they are well planned and well decorated but most of them have no spiritual energy because this energy cannot be created by money. Our meditation centres are Buddha fields where spiritual energy is alive. I would like to give you an example of the centre (Osho Sambodhi) that was recently opened in London. It is just an ordinary house but if you sit there for five minutes you will be charged by a divine energy. I cannot create this energy. Osho centres are created by existence and they are running because existence wants them to. Yes! We can become facilitators, we can become mediums, and I feel very lucky that existence has given me this opportunity.
What do these centres contribute to the society?
Their contribution to society is indirect. These centres make good and joyful individuals. A happy individual can make a happy society. If individuals are unhappy, stressed and angry then the whole society gets affected. So, these centres make people relaxed and joyful. At Tapoban you can see that people are happy even if they are not affluent. A new person can instantly realize that people here are always laughing and cracking jokes. Yes! We are happy people and we love to share happiness. These centres are like oases that radiate happiness in the world. And if the world needs anything, it’s happiness, love and freedom. These three most essential things in people’s life are all available in these centres. Osho centres are a free space, nobody interferes in anybody’s personal life. People have total liberty. It’s their life and they live according to their own intelligence. Centre coordinators or anybody in the centre does not have any right to interfere in anybody’s life. An individual’s right is highly respected. The centre attracts people who love Osho or who love humanity. You are here because you love Osho, because you love me and I am here because I love you. So, the basic ingredient is love. Freedom, love and happiness are a rare combination in the world. These centres provide the environment for love and life.
Being one of the pioneers of the Osho movement what would you to like to say to those involved with it today?
Sw Arun: I don’t consider myself a pioneer. I am only an ardent lover of Osho. I am not alone. Thousands of people are working for the master according to their understanding and I am one of them. I always work with the understanding that I could also be wrong. So, when I advise someone I also remind him that he is free to do what his intelligence tells him to. I have this experience that working for the master is the greatest pleasure of my life. Nothing can give me more happiness, more satisfaction. My experience says that if you want to be happy, if you want satisfaction then become a medium of the master. When the master starts working through you the whole existence will bless you, the whole existence will love you. Lots of people think that they will work for Osho after five years, after ten years, after they complete their studies, their service and so on.
NO! If you are postponing, it is never going to happen. It has to happen from this moment, from now. It is the greatest illusion of the mind. Right it down in your diary that if you are not doing it today, you are not doing it tomorrow either. If you are not meditating today, you are not meditating tomorrow. If you don’t love Osho and become his medium today, there is less chance that you’ll become his medium tomorrow. In fact there’s NO CHANCE.
Interviewed by: Swami Aatmo Neerav, December, 2008