… left his body on 7th July 2016.
Prem Archan (aka Donat Daniel Tanner) grew up in Dübensdorf, Switzerland. Both his parents were psychotherapists with their own practice. His father, Dr Fritz Tanner (later Sakshi), who got his doctorate in Theology despite having been blind since age 13, worked for the Swiss Government, was a professor for further education and the author of 14 non-fiction books. One of them was ‘Bhagwan Gauner Gaukler Gott?’ [Bhagwan Hustler Juggler God?] the title of which was maybe not so much appreciated by the sannyasins when it came out in 1986.
Archan became a sannyasin in the early 80’s pretty much at the same time as his parents. His sannyas name means ‘a love prayer’. He soon joined the Osho commune and centre in Zurich, called first Gyandip then Kota. There he met Anjali with whom, after the commune closed in 1986, he took over the Zorba the Buddha Restaurant and named it Naturel.
He taught himself the skills of a computer programmer and learned how to fly in Oakland. When his father died in 1996 he moved to South Africa with his mother Anutoshi where they opened a farm in Napier called Blue Lion. From there he continued to work as a programmer; he was know as the computer doctor, helping a lot of people to learn using them. His partner Lee will carry on the Blue Lion in his name.
Archan died from a heart attack at age 54.
He was a one of the rare people who took Osho’s words “Live your life to the fullest” very very literally. He lived and loved his life 1000%.
He always had a smile and hug for anyone who needed it even when he was having an off moment. Bubbling with energy, it often felt like he had music running through his veins.
He was a true meditator, everything he did, he put his entire soul into it.
We will all miss that sunny smile and clear outlook at life. To me he was a soulmate, to many of his friends he was a ray of sunshine; he took on for many the role of Father, Friend, Mate and Brother.
Archan and I used to work together in the Kota commune in the department called ‘new business’. Our job was to find new jobs that commune members could do to make money for the centre.
Archan was like a brother to me, with a big heart. It was fantastic to work with him, he was so warmhearted and full of humour. We always tried out new things and concocted many funny pranks together.
One night we had to help serve in the Zorba the Buddha Restaurant, but the outfits for men did not fit us so we just put on outfits for women – this created much laughter also from the clientele!
I also remember another incident: after a delivery to our Disco at the Barfüsserplatz in Basel we drove off in our small truck and with Zurich number plates (Zurich and Basel hate each other!) and followed the parade with sannyasins on the back dancing to Osho songs.
I always saw Archan as a happy and loving person, with a wonderful sense of humour and an open heart. He managed to conjure up a smile on the faces of everybody.
Text and info thanks to Anjali, Magdalena, Mahana, Nirvi, Paritosh – photos thanks to Anjali, Vismaya and Laurence
I first met Archan in 1981; he was the first sannyasin. I went for a visit to the neighbouring communal house, where he also happened to live, and he offered to read the Tarot cards for me. (Archan was a passionate Tarot reader and at any occasion he would pull out the cards and give a reading, even in later years.) That’s when I fell in love with him and we stayed friends since then. Archan’s life was full of celebration and lots of inspiring moments. He loved to do gardening; he had an elegant classical taste with interior design; his house was warm and elegant and everybody loved to visit him there. He created amazing dinners, always invited half the town to come over to his house… Our legendary “loveshak” party was a blast. I see Archan as a rare sample of humanity who gave himself to serve his friends and people who needed to be taken care of. He devoted his life to serve and share, with such honesty and intensity — and with lots and lots of fun. Archan, you will remain in our hearts for ever and ever and ever. Forever,
I loved Archan. He was special; upbeat, with a big unique laughter. I had the great fortune to be with him on many special occasions like the dream wedding of his brother Heiko in Sils Maria. We worked together on the house of his parents in Maienfeld, one of my favorite places in Switzerland where the Heidi movie was made. Later on we shared a two-bedroom apartment at an amazing location in San Francisco. It was totally empty except for a mattress. We had been holding out there until the Ranch finally called me. Archan also attended my wedding in Winterthur, a very special occasion. On the 7th July, for the whole day, I was thinking of Archan and decided to finally visit him in South Africa. Now he is flying high and always in my heart. I would love to hear from Anutoshi.
Magdalena (aka Anna Coulter)
Dear Archan, what a gift. You are a rare being of love and non attachment, non judgement as well as peace and laughter. Always open to helping others, you created a sanctuary for young people and others who needed to escape. I thank you for your ear, your heart, your wisdom and your amazing twinkle in your eye. We know each other on another plane and one day when I am gone, I will meet you there, my brother. Love and hugs!
Of all people I knew, Archan was certainly one of the most positive and friendly, always a smile on his face and always with his whole heart into whatever he was doing. So much positive energy. I have lost a dear friend. We hadn’t seen each other since the 90’s when he moved to SA. I’ll miss you, my friend, and will always remember you fondly and with a smile on my face. Love,