Arun writes about his first personal meeting with Osho. Published in the Kathmandu Post, Nepal, on May 7, 2016.
In my first ever-personal meeting with Osho, he asked me a question seemingly superficial but potent with great meaning – “Who are you?”
I hastily replied, “I am Arun from Nepal. I have been writing letters to you regularly. And you had asked me to attend this camp.”
Osho scanned me closely for about a minute and said mysteriously, “I see. I remember everything.”
I haven’t managed to truly understand the essence of that cryptic reply until today. I could tell he had remembered more than just my letters but just how far I couldn’t say.
His words injected a new and palpable intimacy instantly. I had as though shed the former skin of hesitation and was ready to bare the deepest secrets of my heart with no fear but in great trust and love I had not known until I met him that day.
I started narrating him how I had first seen him in Patna, about the discourse, about how he had dawned a new hope and fueled my drive for truth all over again, how his words touched me deeply.
I was so moved by his presence that I could barely keep my narration linear. I told him about my search, how it had taken me to many different gurus but how these wanderings had been futile and how that quest in my heart had remained as burning and as unsatisfied. I told him how I had started to read him regularly since the meeting. Truth be told, there wasn’t a single day that would go by without me reading his words for at least a few hours.
Osho then asked me about my family. I told him a little bit. Osho told me Nepal had a great spiritual potential. Just as the entire terrain of Tibet vibrated with the teachings of the Buddha, Nepal has the same potential to imbibe Osho’s message.
Padmasambhav single handedly spread the teachings of the Buddha in Tibet, Sanghamitra and Mahendra revived Buddhism in Sri Lanka, in the same way, Nepal, too was waiting for a dedicated seeker, who would establish Osho’s vision in the beautiful land of the Himalayas.
“If you are ready,” he had told me, “Nepal is ready for me.”
He then reminded me lovingly the story of Bodhidharma, Padmasambhav and Sanghamitra and Mahendra again. These stories sounded like wonderful fables but that’s all. Myth lends a unique aura to history whereby the mind is ready to accept the surreal without questioning much. But here Osho was talking to me as though these fables waited to repeat in Nepal and that too through me? I didn’t doubt his vision but I doubted my own ability.
As though reading my mind, Osho told me, “When a disciple is ready to surrender, he transcends his personal boundary and limitation and the entire universe starts functioning through such people.”
Osho asked me what I enjoyed the most. I quipped immediately—travelling! In fact, after passing my ISc I had appeared for the aviation entrance exam as well. But my parents freaked out when they learnt this and did not let me appear for the interview. This way, my dream of becoming a pilot was terminated. Even as I was doing my engineering course, I had made up my mind to practice either in the Indian Railway or in an airline so that I could at least get free tickets to travel the world.
Osho chuckled and said, “Pilots don’t get to see the world, they just get to see the airports. You just make yourself worthy. When you are ready, I will take you around the world with my message. In every corner of the world there will be people who will receive you with great love. But for that you will have to make yourself worthy of that love first.”
The truth is, the wanderlust in me is so utterly satiated that I am looking forward towards the years of solitude and quietude. But it appears, Osho is hell-bent on annihilating the last seed of desire of travelling in me. So, despite my ageing body, Osho is still taking me around the world. Of course, as always, he was true about everything. Everywhere I go, I have been received as though I had been a part of their family, in such great love and warmth. I can see now why Osho laughed when I had told him I wanted to be a pilot; he has given me thousand fold than what I could have dreamt for myself.
I was thrilled to be in such close proximity of Acharyashree. He asked me a few questions and I answered them in detail. Hearing of my obsession with self-control, celibacy and my past religious journey, Acharyashree said in jest, “You have read the traditional religious books a little more than it was necessary. And you have been spoiled by these literature, it seems.”
Then he advised me to read his book, From Sex to Superconsciousness. The book was just released recently and had become instant sensation. The book retains its infamy to this day because most of the critics never read it beyond its title. But a few of those, who were lured by the title and read the book, were left disappointed because the book is entirely a treatise on the art of Samadhi.
As our conversation continued, he said, “I have started getting invitations from abroad as well. I will probably go to Nairobi in March.”
“Don’t go!” I heard myself say impulsively.
“Why?” Acharyashree was clearly bemused by my sudden outburst.
“Because once you start travelling, foreigners will lose no moment in recognising your worth. And it will be impossible for simple folks like us to meet you,” I said.
“See, this young man talks sense,” Acharyashree pointed at me and talked to the others who were in the room. “This is exactly what is going to happen.” Encouraged by his words I told him, “Please don’t go anywhere else in March. Please come to Kathmandu instead.” He looked at me intently and said, “Will you be able to organise it?” I was so overcome with love for him I overestimated my own strength. I told him, “My parents have a certain political background and they can help us organise something.”
Acharyashree said, “Okay, but I don’t prefer staying in a hotel so I will stay at your place.”
Those days, we used to live in a small rented flat in Putalisadak, Kathmandu. It was a small place and there was no way Acharyashree could live there. I described to him a little about my place and said it would be a better idea for him to stay in Paras Hotel at New Road, the only hotel of some standard in Kathmandu at the time. Acharyashree smiled and said, “I don’t need comfort, I need love. And the tears in your eyes are proof enough I will be happier at your place.”
I told him Nepal was not yet ready for a camp but we could definitely organise public discourses and personal meetings.
He smiled with that mysterious glint in his eyes and said, “You don’t know the potential of Nepal yet. If you are ready, Nepal is up for a great spiritual revolution.”
When I walked out of his room that day, the revolution had already begun.
Anand Arun is founder and coordinator of Osho Tapoban — an international commune and forest retreat centre
Photo of Arun by Osho News