…left his body on 16th May 2016.
Yoga Arvind (aka Torben Blond, Turiyananda Saraswati) studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and became an accomplished pianist, but soon gave up his studies to join a 3-year yoga education at the Satyananda Saraswati ashram in Munger, Bihar, India. This turned out to be a very challenging, intense and extremely disciplined, and ascetic path, so much so that after two years he escaped and went to Mumbai where he met Osho.
He immediately fell in love with the easygoing sannyas way and many might remember him from the very early Mumbai/Pune days. He was most likely the first Danish sannyasin. What he did not know at the time was that he had tuberculosis. When diagnosed, it became clear that he would have to go back home for treatment.
In Denmark he opened Anand Niketan, the Rajneesh Meditation Center in Copenhagen, which he ran for many years offering Osho’s meditations as well as yoga classes on a daily basis. Although he was an eloquent and lively speaker who loved to talk till late in the night, there was always a still, silent and steady presence around him that inspired many. He became a catalyst for many Danish young people who then, through him, travelled to Pune to meet Osho. Soon a large sannyas community grew around him. The Centre was active till the eighties, i.e. until it was closed down during the Ranch time.
Arvind left his body peacefully, surrounded by his children, at the age of 74 having faced Alzheimer’s disease for the past seven years, bravely observing how his abilities slowly declined.
Read Veena’s story which involves Arvind – and Osho: “Help my people there…”
The farewell ceremony for Arvind was celebrated on Saturday, 18th June 2016.
Info and photos thanks to Varta, Ageha, Pratibha
Some people play a particular role in your life and Arvind certainly did in mine. I didn’t like him that much, in fact, he really pushed all my buttons, but I loved him for sending me a mala with a short note saying, “I heard you lost your mala, greetings Arvind.” This was in spring 1974.
I had had awesome and magic experiences with Osho in India but didn’t worry much about having lost my mala. I didn’t wear orange; I didn’t want to be part of a club. My boyfriend Leif (aka Yoga Sangeet) had read Janov’s book The Primal Scream and we asked Arvind if he knew where to do this therapy. He answered, “Why don’t you do the Hoo-Meditation?’ (meaning the Dynamic) and it dawned on us the value of what it was we had found in India. We didn’t have a music tape so we used Pharoah Sanders’ free-jazz LP to keep the time; we both took turns to check the time while doing the Dynamic.
I often went to Copenhagen on Sunday afternoon to do the Dynamic Meditation at Arvind’s center at Skindergade; most people did it naked. After the meditation we shared a meal and participated in Vedanta’s impro music group circle. The sannyas center was on the 3rd floor (Ole and Hannah’s Tibetan center was in the basement, the Scandinavian Yoga Center around the corner; that was pretty much all as far as spiritual options were in those days). I thought that being naked was part of the meditation, so when I did Kundalini Meditation in Radha Hall in Pune for the first time I took off my robe much to Christ Chaitanya’s horror. “Put that robe back on!”
Already in the early days we organised a meditation camp on my father’s farm on the island Bornholm where we lived. We died all our clothes, including underwear, in bright orange ready to get on our way to Pune, leaving everything behind to live in the ashram. We also held an encounter group in my mom’s ‘summer house’ where I had a great ‘fight’ with Arvind. Seated at each end of the thick box mattress, each one with a tennis racket, we took turns banging that poor mattress as hard as we could. Arvind shouting, “It’s MY center!” and Pratibha, “NO, it’s OUR center!”
He was stubborn and persevering. He kept that center going! We never saw him much in Pune but he paved the way for many people to find Osho and his meditations. Respect!
May your soul find peace, Arvind ❤️❤️
I wasn’t lucky enough to meet the sparkling soul that was Yoga Arvind but I want to express my love for him and his life and his love for Osho right now, fly high beloved one,
When I arrived in Bombay in September 1972 and took sannyas, it was Arvind and his partner Ma Yoga Karuna I visited. They were very caring and hospitable. I remember vaguely Arvind’s silent, comforting and relaxed vibe. In loving remembrance I wish you a blissful journey into Infinity…
Arvind invited me to lead groups at his Center in Copenhagen, maybe even in ’77 after my first visit to Poona. I remember the vibrant, somehow earthy scene around him which flowered into the deep rooted presence of Osho in Denmark. I never saw Arvind after the early 80s but always appreciated his foundational work for Osho in those early days. Good Journey, and Love,
Oh, such unexpected news to see that Arvind has left, that he is no longer walking this Earth. My heart is stirring, feeling his calming, spacious, loving presence, his mischievious twinkle, his welcoming and accepting nature. Such a huge being, solid in the way of a mountain with a pulsing under-current of deep, fiery passion like that of a lava river. Strength, depth and softness. all in one beautiful human being. I saw you last at my impromptu birthday party on a trip to Denmark ten years ago. You looked like you did when we first meet at the Niketan Center in 1975 except gentler, even more generous with your heart. I always loved you, you always touched me, made me feel welcome…and at home. May you fly high, beloved Arvind, and share your preciousness wherever you go.
I remember Arvind from the late 70ies or early 80ies in Copenhagen for one thing: honesty and sincerity. He had just gone through a divorce and had problems missing contact to his children, but anyway he was taking part in open sannyas gatherings without trying to hide his situation. I found it very courageous. Thank you, Arvind, and have a good travel,