Book Reviews — 22 April 2018

Prem Geet reviews Anand Arun’s latest book and says, “A pocket-size treasure so packed with wisdom it reads like the ultimate owner’s manual for being human.”

Panchasheel CoverAnand Arun’s book is the ultimate fast-read guide for spiritual seekers. Ever generous with an encyclopedic knowledge of history, religion, and the mystery school, Arun creates a 21st century context of spirituality, science, and psychology, while sharing wisdom from his own five decades of seeking truth. His life’s work is a testament to the spiritual fruit that ripens from disciplined meditation for 50 years, with 40 of those years in a supportive ashram environment. Arun says, “Being with my master, I realized that liberation from the mind is the liberation from all problems.”

After years of watching other sannyasins misunderstand the value of discipline, Arun felt compelled to write about the value of self-discipline to help seekers on the path to self-realization. He explains that Osho was never against discipline, as so many assume. “What is discipline? Discipline means creating an order within you. As you are, you are a chaos.” [1]

In describing the mistakes meditators make, chiefly a lack of discipline, Arun pierces with truth saying, “Those sannyasins, who had the fortune of living with Osho, mistook his energy field for their own spiritual attainment.” He follows with, “To be established in this state of bliss perpetually, one needs arduous meditation and intense purification.”

In Hindi, pancha means five and sheela means virtues. Like the Five Precepts or Pañcaśīlāni (Sanskrit) of Buddhism that espouse a commitment to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication, these practices also create well-being. A roadmap for self transformation, ‘Panchasheel’ references Patanjali and others in covering five focus areas. The first four are preparatory for the last, samadhi: suddhi (purification), sadhana (meditation), satsang (gathering), and sanskar (habits). The fifth focus, samadhi (union with divine), is a state that “can only happen in silence, peace and aloneness,” writes Arun. A pocket-size book of 75 pages, it is a comprehensive yet condensed guide showing us, simply put, how to live in the most uplifting way.

Like Arun’s other inspired books, ‘Panchasheel’ synthesizes ancient wisdom for contemporary life, while peeling back many layers of history, culture, and conditioning that hold various repressions in place. Addressing where seekers generally miss the point, each chapter is a delightful discourse on those things most elemental to life. In effect, it is a wake-up call to be very selective and aware about our food, water, rest, exercise, friends, sex, nature, meditation, community, and environment.

It takes a great deal of self-discipline to develop in such a way that allows consciousness to roam freely.

Osho explains “no-discipline” as a highly disciplined and watchful approach: “This very treatment – or mistreatment – creates the mind. The consciousness must be left to itself, utterly free to move and be, according to its nature. Do not localize it. Do not partialize it. This is the essence of my discipline of no-discipline.” [2]

In the chapter called ‘Right Sex’, Arun addresses sex for meditators and reminds us that “Celibacy is not necessary for a seeker.” Dispelling cultural and historical views of sex as sin, Arun writes of balanced sex as a health-promoting phenomenon: “Male and female energies are incomplete on their own and when these two opposite energies meet there is great satisfaction in physical and mental energy levels.” Always making space for humor, Arun dispels the idea that the sexual drive stops after enlightenment by saying, “If sex would have diminished after enlightenment then how would Shiva, Ram, Krishna, Mohammed and Kabir have had kids?”

Now with its 126th Osho publication, Osho Tapoban Publications has designed yet another relevant book for “everyman” so packed with wisdom it reads like the ultimate owner’s manual for human beings. The slender classic is “light heavy reading,” with a substantive message for people too busy to invest in years of sacred study. Pack it for your next airplane flight. In ‘Panchasheel’ you will find what Arun calls, the “very voice of rebellion.”

With ‘Panchasheel’ Arun, founder of Nepal’s Osho Tapoban and a Templeton Prize nominee, has written yet another must-read for contemporary seekers, alongside ‘Lone Seeker, Many Masters’ and ‘In Wonder with Osho’. Kudos to him and Osho Tapoban Publications’ Dhyan Yatri and team for producing another remarkable gift to awaken humanity.

In conclusion Arun writes, “We don’t have to search for bliss outside. Neither do we need relatives, wealth, family, position or prosperity for bliss. The empire of bliss is right here inside us.“

Always poetic yet practical, Arun’s words pull us under a waterfall of light to experience those luxurious moments described by Osho, “When love breathes life into words…”

Excerpts by Osho from
[1]Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, Ch 1
[2]A Cup of Tea, Letter 241

Review by Prem Geet

Read an excerpt from the book: The art of awareness is the most difficult of all arts

Available as Kindle edition from amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.in

Anand Arun TNAnand Arun is the founder and coordinator of Osho Tapoban – an international commune and forest retreat centre in Nepal – and the author also of ‘In Wonder With Osho’ and ‘Lone Seeker Many Masters’. www.tapoban.comwww.inwonderwithosho.com

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