“Arun’s long-awaited autobiography is lightning striking the heart with joyous laughter, deepest tears, and an original portrait of Osho as never before seen,” says Prem Geet in her review.
With all the brilliant emotional colors of the rainbow, Anand Arun’s newly released autobiography, In Wonder with Osho, begins in 1969 and recounts the young seeker’s precious years with Osho. During meditation retreats, Arun speaks only of Osho so this book is an astounding first-ever account of little-known facts and deep personal insights from a dedicated devotee. With an altogether original perspective, Arun reveals his own tremendous depths while allowing us to see Osho through his soulful eyes. Arun’s vulnerability, sensitivity and surrender shine through as he takes hard bounces from difficulty to miracle and back again, enduring every hardship to be near Osho. It’s thrilling to read a true story so skillfully rendered that it creates an intimate sense of belonging and “being there.”
Osho Tapoban Publication has designed yet another elegant book with beautiful Osho sketches by Dhyan Yatri. In Wonder with Osho promises to be the first half of a two-part tome recounting Arun’s lifelong experience with the Master. Throughout 370 pages, Osho’s many dimensions, including a very tough side, come truly alive. With a feeling for creativity and beauty, Arun resisted being an engineer but Osho insisted that the young seeker finish his studies. Osho knew best: Civil Engineering was essential to Arun’s building of ashrams and meditation centers in Nepal.
Arun’s almost impossible adventure evokes outrage and compassion as he describes the difficulty of his early days in Pune. The young seeker attempted – without success – to function normally while ecstatic and penniless. Treated very harshly by the ashram staff with a few kind exceptions, Arun was subjected to the very worst crap jobs which he accepted as the Master’s device for testing his mettle and erasing his ego. Details of the harsh ashram were shocking but a testament to Arun’s grit that he flowered through grinding poverty and filthy hard labor. Tears flowed when I read his description of how impossibly hard it was to hand wash huge amounts of laundry, scrub enormous cooking pots, and be treated as the ashram’s low man on the totem pole – the garbage man – while living mostly on bananas and pure grace. But high comedy prevails as Arun describes the uncanny way he thrived when zero-ed out. His needs were provided for unfailingly by Existence. With real suspense, Arun conveys the existential dance of total trust in finding his next meal and next wave of money – which always came.
Arun’s descriptive writing style moves gracefully from the factual domain to extraordinary poetic realms infused with a startling soulful elegance: “The eternal, blue waters of the Arabian Sea stretched as far as the eyes could see. All the noise in the world merged into the sea and formed a resounding silence. In the silence, Acharyashree [Osho] revealed the deepest secrets of life and death.”
As a master storyteller with a most rare gift of sharing emotional intelligence, Arun’s stories often evoke outrageous laughter and heartfelt tears at the same time. A very funny but poignant passage reveals his desperately intense magnetism for his master, a pull so great that young Arun journeyed far, then boldly walked uninvited into Osho’s apartment. Arun just sat on the floor until Osho came out of the bathroom and lovingly asked the age-old question of gurus with utter calm, “Who are you?”
In Wonder with Osho is packed with heartfelt, cinematic moments so rich they feel like a movie in the making. As an innocent ‘Everyman’ on a sacred journey to find the magical master, young Arun overcomes many obstacles while encountering a circus of characters – sexually frenetic house mates, inquisitive royalty, transformed criminals, penny wise hippies, wealthy businessmen, ashram power brokers, supportive politicians, and restaurateurs, both kind and cruel ones. His description of the high cost of seeking to his relationships is very touching, especially when resisting great pressure from his family who feared the spiritual life would absorb their son as it did. Saddest of all the heartbreaking details was his angry father throwing money at him when young Arun was leaving home to be near Osho.
Arun writes, “What you hold in your hands is a love story for which I have risked my all. It is a poem of my lifelong love affair with my beloved. It is the memoir of my romance with the man who not only dreamt but materialized paradise on earth. If these stories sound otherworldly to you, they are otherworldly!”
Overflowing with historical and spiritual significance, this book is an infinitely valuable link in the canon of sacred literature. Each chapter is steeped in Arun’s fortitude and resolve to awaken and share Osho’s work. A painter of stories that spark the heart and ignite our trust, Arun delivers a must-read book of vast intelligence that encourages us to keep living and moving in trust. His inspired tales will quicken any reader in search of illumination. In Wonder with Osho reflects a life lived completely in response to the beloved. From beginning to end, Arun dazzles with a singular fiery focus. He is total in loving his master. For Arun, his very heart is Osho.
Available at OshoViha
Review by Prem Geet
Anand Arun is the founder and coordinator of Osho Tapoban— an international commune and forest retreat centre