(3 November 1940 – 9 April 2018)
Anand Arhat (Vinod Sharma) left home in Dehradun as a young person. He got a diploma from the prestigious J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai which helped him to land a very good job at an advertising agency. In 1971 he took sannyas from Osho. He was first staying at Anandsheela Centre together with Chaitanya Bharti, Mukti, Divya and Geeta and when the Woodland flat was purchased for Osho he moved there and resigned from his job. He designed the first English magazine dedicated to Osho, Sannyas, published from Mumbai.
When Osho moved to Pune in 1974, he came to stay at the ashram for four or five years. He worked in the main office as a graphic designer for Osho’s Hindi books and the cover pages of the Sannyas magazine, including the Rajneesh Foundation’s fortnightly Hindi and English newsletters. He also made some wonderful Portraits of Osho and outstanding illustrations for Calendars.
Many might remember him by the fact that he used wear only a lunghi tied at the neck that covered him minimally. He often did not wear his mala, never went for discourse, never had many friends. Nobody bothered him, though everyone liked him. He was a charming person with a good sense of humour. Although by nature more of a loner he was in a long-time relationship with Pragya with whom he remained friends for the rest of his life.
Then, from one day to the next he simply disappeared, left the ashram without informing anyone. His friends suppose that he got overworked due to his habit of working only on the 11th hour; his designs would never be ready till the very last night before they had to go to the printers.
After leaving the ashram, Arhat went back to working at an agency as a graphic designer. He lived for some time in Goa, then in a sannyas commune near Ahmedabad in Gujarat, and then back in his hometown Dehradun near the Bodhisattva Commune; most recently his home was Rishikesh.
A few years back he had undergone heart surgery. He died while flying from Delhi to Goa. He was cremated at the Vile Parle West burning ghat in Mumbai on 10th April.
Credit for alert, info and photos goes to Asang, Pratap, Pragya, Ageh Bharti, Anil Vora, Jagdish, Keerti, Anurag and Bhagawati
See some of Arhat’s artwork in our Art Gallery: Portraits of Osho
You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote using our contact form (please add ‘Arhat’ in the subject field)
Fly high, Arhat. You contributed your share of creativity in this unique experiment of existence that unfolded through Osho and which goes on and on and on… Love,
Arhat was a wonderful person. As the editor of Osho magazines and newsletters in Hindi, I often pestered him to meet the deadlines. I would sit in his room to get the work done. On some occasions he would just leave the room and disappear for hours. And then, late at night, he would work – and in the morning the design would be ready.
For the last 4-5 years, he has been in touch with me. He wanted to move to the city where I am living these days. But before that he wanted to sell his house in Goa – which never happened. Now Ma Advaita, who took care of him in Rishikesh, has his will and takes care of everything. She was on the flight with him to Goa and shared all the details with me. Swami Haresh and other friends in Mumbai were very helpful so that Advaita could get everything sorted out with the Mumbai police regarding the final rites.
Thank you, Arhat, for all the unforgettable colorful times. ‘Til we meet again.
Arhat and I were “married” in Pune One. It was kind of an Osho device: Arhat was unsure about staying in the ashram and I had confided in Vivek that he had proposed to me. So one night in darshan when Arhat couldn’t decide himself whether to stay or go, Osho said,”Okay, stay – and marry Anurag!”
We tried, but after a year or so we parted. When we told Laxmi one evening in her office, she said, “Let’s celebrate!” So in true Osho fashion, we all enjoyed some ice cream together to celebrate our “divorce” and amicably went our separate ways.
Arhat loved movies, so when videos came along he was in seventh heaven. And he was a wonderful cook. I stayed in his penthouse apartment in Goa one year when he played the perfect host to me, plying me with delicious dishes.
And his art – well, Arhat was a truly gifted artist.
He had already had a heart attack when I met up with him in Poona Two, and was surprised that he had survived it. That he lived for so much longer was a blessing.
Arhat used to address people as “The Great.” So, Arhat the Great, many blessings on your journey into the unknown. With fond memories and love from Anurag the Great!
Existence blessed me to design with Genius Arhat and Osho loved my designs of some rare books which are like Sambhog Se Samadhi Ki Aur, Kompaley Phir Phoot Aayi, Phir Amrit ki Boondh Padi and Tao Upnishad. Maitreya had also told that my art work reminds him about Arhat. Narendera Bodhisattva said about my designing for Osho that one more Arhat has appeared in the form of Jayesh. I had once asked for a signature of Osho, but Neelam conveyed to me that Osho has not given his signatures to anybody since the past two years to anyone in the whole world. But when she told Osho about this, Osho blessed me with his signature. I painted a portrait of Arhat (below, entitled ‘The Final Stroke’) out of no mind as a tribute to him and posted it to Keerti to publish in Osho World. It was a mysterious final gift to Arhat.