The Bhakti Garden of Osho Upaban

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Closer to heaven at the gateway to the Annapurna Range, Osho Upaban’s Bhakti Park in Nepal is a very special place that honors Osho and his early disciples, writes Deva Dosa.

We should all be so blessed to have a specially designed garden made in our remembrance at the most beautiful Osho commune in the world, Osho Upaban in Pokhara, Nepal.

Catching a bus from Kathmandu and meandering 7 hours to Pokhara, the soul stirs as the neon-white tips of Himalayan peaks cut the almost-lavender sky. At the first glance of the faraway Annapurna, I am in awe. The dramatic skyline shouts silently that God is, and all of creation is surrendered to that vast intelligence.

After a long approach into the bustling town of Pokhara, the bus finally stops at the bus park swarming with tourists and trekkers. A quick cab ride brings me to the gate of Osho Upaban, designed and built by Bodhisattva Swami Anand Arun, also founder of Osho Tapoban in Kathmandu and Osho Jetban in Lumbini, and many other meditation centers.

On route to Pokhara
Commune part
Buddha with Fishtail
Buddha Park
Osho quote
Inviting bench
Guru Purnima 2018
Upaban drone shot

Set high above two Himalayan rivers on a cliff-like fiord, Osho Upaban is beauty beyond description. The meditation hall and campus are set amid flowering fruit trees and gardens, cultivated walking paths, and sacred statues. Osho discourse placards are posted to provide a continual communion with the Master’s presence.

Graced with the world’s first Death Park in 2017, Osho Upaban was conceived as a walking meditation on beauty, nature, and the many faces of God, all that truly nourishes us. Upaban is home to many sacred resting places that honor Buddha, Jesus, Osho, Hotei (Happy Buddha), Lord Shiva, and Lord Krishna. The most incredibly beautiful Osho Samadhi features white statues of Osho and Arun, as the seated Master and the disciple at his feet. Day or night, a seeker can discover a stunningly beautiful path to walk or place to sit alone and admire the stillness of the grand mountains and the rushing rivers below.

Osho says: “I love the Himalayas. I wanted to die there. That is the most beautiful place to die – of course to live too, but as far as dying is concerned, that is the ultimate place. It is where Lao Tzu died. In the valleys of the Himalayas Buddha died, Jesus died, Moses died. No other mountains can claim Moses, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Bodhidharma, Milarepa, Marpa, Tilopa, Naropa, and thousands of others…. And I will choose to die on a day when I feel I am part of the Himalayas. Death for me is not just an end, a full stop. No, death for me is a celebration.”¹

Osho Upaban is led by Swami Yoganand, founder of Nepal’s Laughter in the Schools, a wonderful stress reduction program for students and teachers. It took over 10 years of dedication and very difficult work for Yoganand and Arun to create Upaban from scratch to glory.

He says, “Osho Upaban was established with immense love, surrender, and trust for the Master. It exists to try to manifest the “MAD” relationship, the Master and Disciple relationship. The basic undercurrent of Osho Upaban is this relationship.”

The Osho Upaban staff is high-energy, can-do, friendly, helpful, and very loving. Designed and cooked with immense love and sensitivity, the meals are sublime and the chutneys are mystical delights. The energy of the place is simply profound. Sitting in the meditation hall, it seems the crown of the head is just touching heaven. Meditation practices there are magnified manifold and it is easier to go deeply within to bottomless bliss and new horizons.

Set in Pokhara Valley with a long growing season, the Bhakti Park atmosphere is exotic, humid, and fertile. Subtropical flowers literally shower the walkway and overhead trellises support flowing vines that create an intimate canopy of shade. Beautiful pastel green benches encircle tree trunks to create resting spaces where one can sit and enjoy the ambience after strolling through the guided photographic journey that honors Osho’s grandmother, father, and mother, and a number of early disciples.

The Bhakti Park is “dedicated to the Revered Master Osho and those precious disciples of Osho who dedicated their life at the feet of the Master and dissolved themselves with the being of their beloved Guru.” Strolling through the park, one senses a continuity of being with them and the joy of time travel to the early days of Osho when so much more courage was required.

Represented in a lovely walk-through photographic exhibit, the sannyasin friends honored here include Rani Ma, Osho’s Grandmother, Swami Devateerth Bharti, Osho’s Father and Ma Amrit Saraswati, Osho’s Mother, Ma Yoga Laxmi, Osho’s first secretary, Ma Anand Madhu, first initiated sannyasin, Jayanti Bhai, organizer of early Osho camps, Ma Yoga Vivek, Osho’s caretaker, Ma Yoga Taru, Kirtan leader and singer of Gachchhamis before discourses, Swami Anand Vimalkirti, German prince, Swami Anand Maitreya, former politician and editor of Osho’s Hindi books, Bodhisattva Swami Anand Arun, Swami Narendra Bodhisattva, founder of Dehradun commune, Swami Vinod Bharti, actor and politician, Swami Om Prakash Saraswati, founder of Rajyoga Meditation Center and Oshodham, Ma Prem Shunyo, author of My Diamond Days with Osho.

The love that flows in Bhakti Park is palpable. Visitors feel surrounded by happy yet invisible souls. Sharing a few moments there recently during a 3-day intensive meditation program, Arun shed deeply felt tears of gratitude for his long-time friends who have passed and our group burst into spontaneous tears with him. In his words of dedication, you could feel how much these disciples had given of themselves in the early days of Osho. Friends left the park knowing much more about how to live this one short life and how to truly honor those we love and those who made a difference.

Deepest gratitude for Bhakti Park, a place that fully realizes the buddhafield energy of Osho Upaban, in Osho’s words, as an energy field “where your sleeping Buddha can be awakened… where you can start growing, maturing, where your sleep can be broken, where you can be shocked to awareness…”²

With a mothering energy, Bhakti Park calls these amazing souls into a form protected by the magnificent Himalaya with eternal honor, joy, and play.

Quotes by Osho from
¹ Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Ch 1
² The Diamond Sutra, Ch 9

Photo of Buddha Park – credit L B Thapa

Article by Deva Dosa

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