(28 February 1929 – 23 May 2021)
Joel made this film portrait of Nirgrantha over the past few months.
Anand Nirgrantha was a long-term resident of New York, practicing as a Buddhist psychotherapist. He became Osho’s sannyasin either in 1975 or 1976, worked first as a group leader and later, as one of the editors of Osho’s book translations into English.
He and his partner Joel fell in love with Bali and built a beautiful vacation villa on the ridge of a river gorge in the hills near Ubud. During the time of construction, they only spent part of the year on Bali, as Nirgrantha still had his practice in New York. I met with them in 2006 and remembered him vaguely from early Poona days. I was delighted to see him so energetic, agile and youthful. When I asked what made him take on such a large project, he said, “Nothing is a big project in a place like Bali. It’s an excuse to keep coming back for more!” The ‘Villa Vajra’ is an expression of his creativity and aesthetic sense set in a tranquil meditative environment amid the silence of the rainforest.
Having been diagnosed with cancer in 2008, after surgery/chemo/radiation in New York City they moved to Bali full time in June 2009. Nirgrantha continued to ‘see’ a few patients for 4 or 5 years via Skype.
Joel told me, “We were both diagnosed with Covid in February and he spent 10 days in Sanglah Hospital to prevent dehydration. He did not have severe or acute Covid symptoms yet the hospital protocol insisted on him being kept there for 10 days, then be tested and x-rayed and released. He had been bedridden since coming home 3 months ago. The last pictures (in the video) were taken about 3 weeks ago outside our bedroom where he enjoyed a few hours of morning air and light.
“Nirgrantha was surrounded by loving friends when he took his last breath on 23 May at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Our dear friend Leng was reciting The Heart Sutra’s last words, Gate Gate Pāragate Pārasaṃgate Bodhi Svāhā as he stopped breathing.”
His body will be cremated at noon on Saturday, 29 May 2021 at Krematorium Mumbul, Nusa Dua.
Everything is becoming, nothing is static – “Life is millions of processes,” says Osho, answering Nirgrantha’s question.
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