…left his body on 26th June 2015.

From Chinmaya we hear that Anand Neelamber left his body peacefully in Whakatane, New Zealand at 11.10 this morning, Friday June 26th. Neels took sannyas in Rajneshpuram in ’83. He worked in the video department during Pune 2. He was a central figure in Auckland’s sannyasin scene over the past 30 years, distributing Osho’s books and discourses as well as music by sannyasins.

As John Henry, Neels was famous for his inventiveness as a technician and editor in New Zealand radio and television from their earliest days in the ’60s. He had a passion for technological change and pushed the boundaries of what was possible.

Always a collector, he leaves a unique collection of Osho paraphernalia as well as numerous items (destined for the local museum) carefully preserved form the days of his grandfather and parents.

From Satty we hear that instead of a funeral service there will be several celebrations for his passing. At three of these Celebrations his ashes will be released: at Ohope, at Opoutere and Auckland. A gathering of his work friends will be arranged in Auckland in the next month to celebrate the man and his fabulous body of work and a gathering of Osho friends will be celebrating the wonderful, mindful, meditative man Neelamber was, in Auckland within a month.

His Osho friends in Auckland will hold a celebration for him on Friday 24th July.

ca 1974
by koyal
Neelamber with beard
Neelamber 2014 cotton socks
Neelamber no beard


Here is Neelamber’s story how he came to take sannyas:

Born in New Zealand and worked in the NZBC: in Radio (1963) and Television (1964-1973). During this time I was involved in a serious car accident (1968), knocked out in a tumbling vehicle, thrown out the back window, landed in a paddock. I suffered some sort of brain damage, became incredibly depressed and suicidal. Parents were devastated by how I’d changed. Tried yoga, staring at candles, read all sorts of books. I was helped somewhat by continuing with my oil painting and learning to throw pots as a sort of therapy. Major turning point though years later, was the discovery of “The Book of Secrets, Vol, 2” by Osho at a friend’s house in 1981. The very first paragraph I read struck an amazing resonance for me. I immediately bought my own copy of that book.

I read quite a few of Osho’s books, but in June 1983 after completing a major video project, I’d ended up in Australia, and I felt to visit the Rajneesh Meditation Centre in Sydney’s Oxford Street, to see if there were other books I might access. I saw on the notice board: Dynamic Meditation, 6:00 am, $3, bring a towel. I did Dynamic for three days. I couldn’t believe it, I felt so much better in my whole being than I had ever felt during the previous 15 years! I determined to continue down this path. Two weeks later I travelled to the Ranch in Oregon and took sannyas there in July 1983.

On 11th February he wrote:

A snowflake disolving in pure air – Bad news for a swami

Neelamber diagnosis

Yep, that’s the Swami Neelamber bald patch right there centre frame, with my purple jeans down around my ankles. It’s an urgent CT scan, which followed an earlier gastroscopy and biopsies. For those, I chose to have the endoscope down my throat without the usual sedation, it was quite challenging, but it enabled me to see my own throat in glorious closeup . . . however, it wasn’t a pretty sight!

Dr Prasad the operator, said afterwards the problem he found there was “very nasty”…translation: “Esophageal carcinoma.” Pretty bad news, although actually it was quite expected. I’d had two operations in that area, 20 and 18 years ago — Nissen fundoplications, the first time being a medical mis-adventure. And so I was absolutely certain that sometime in the future, my esophagus would be my body’s ‘weak link’….

Dr Carter, the radiologist (at left), is answering my questions about the Iodine they’re about to inject into my blood to give the CT scan more contrast. Not so keen on Iodine really, it’s one of those nasty halogens in the periodic table…along with Fluorine!

Anyway got the results of the CT scan yesterday (lower pics), Dr Prasad showed me a lot of the ~1000 odd slices they’d recorded. It’s an amazing technology, computed tomography scanning. The two slices here show: on the left (circled), my esophagus about half way down, and on the right, about where it enters the stomach. It’s easy to see why I can’t swallow properly! Damn!

I have a printout too of the medical report from Dr Carter. That makes for very sobering reading….

Won’t go into all the details here, suffice to say that the esophageal carcinoma was not alone! That dirty little weasel disease in my body has spread: liver, lungs and lymph nodes. The report conclusion says: Extensive metastatic disease.

It’s inoperable. Apparently I may have just two or three months left. I need to check with an oncologist regarding the possibility of chemotherapy and or radiation — that’s probably what they’ll want to sell me, but I’m not so keen. Those may drag things out a bit — but either way, existence has it’s timing, and my focus will now shift to “getting my affairs in order”. […]

Breathe, breathe, breathe . . .

Thank you for so many wonderful memories! It’s been a fun ride. What an amazing planet we have! Try to take care of it, and as many of the people living here as you can. I’ve met some very beautiful souls this time around, thank you all for your love and light. Take care of each other and enjoy the journey! Namaste,

Swami Anand Neelamber


You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote using our contact form (pls add ‘Neelamber’ in the subject field)…

Neelamber left his body an hour ago. 11:10 NZ time. I’m going to do a dance on my hill top to celebrate his wonderful life and tune into him through the air waves. Tears too are flowing. Total love and anand for us Anand’s too, xxxoooxxx

I got to meet this wonderful soul after connecting with him through Facebook. I feel privileged to have meet him in person and from the very first time we spoke on the phone, I knew I would like him! He greeted me on the doorstep of his house, not with a handshake, but a smile and hug, like I was a long lost brother – I guess I was. Every time I saw him, it was the same; I felt loved and welcomed.
An amazing human being, so beautiful. May he be at peace with his teacher. Love and light to you, Swami xx Paul

Met Neelamber in the early 70s when he worked as an editor at Vidcom in Auckland. He was so passionate in all that he did. Such an inspiration. A spiritual genius.
Xxx Maharaj

It was amazing to watch Neels transform over the past few months after his cancer was diagnosed. From a hermit/geek obsessed with technology and with hording stuff, he became a loving being, open to friends and strangers alike. His last few weeks were surrounded by loving friends, some of whom he hadn’t had contact with for 20 years or more, and who flew in from places like Australia to be with him. he kept his humour and sharp wits to the end. His gratitude to Osho was boundless. Some moments for me were like being in the presence of a Master – so absolutely in the here and now.

What a treasure! I experienced him as one of those rare souls that genuinely reaches out…to support, love, help, dance. He became a distant but, at the same time, close friend. Enjoy your journey lovely man.
XXXX Padma

Love Neelamber, a joyful journey to you. Love,
Dhyan Tarpan

Blessed your soul, dear Swami; you’ll be forever in my heart! With all my love,
Satisha ❤️🙏🏻❤️

Fly Free beautiful man. You filled my life in Auckland in the 80’s with the beautiful clear sound of Osho’s speaking and music and celebration.

What a lovely friend! Neelamber once told how by chance, in Pune, he was asked to do the sound recording for a film crew who’s audio engineer had fallen ill. The film crew was there to film Osho who was to come out to sign some books in his library. Neelamber shared what a gift it was for him to be unexpectedly so close to his master. And that at some point the only sound there was to record was the sound of Osho’s felt-tipped pen on the paper… a moment of Zen.
Sambodhi Prem

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