In this the second part of the interview with Swami Anand Arun, coordinator of Osho Tapoban, Arun richly recalls his first meetings with Osho.
Q. When did you first meet Osho?/How did you become a sannyasin?
.... At that time maybe I was on a guru trip! Anywhere I heard there was a guru, I would rush and try to learn something from him. But I was not satisfied anywhere. Some of their teaching was not scientific, and some of their teaching was too difficult to practice, I was looking for my real master.
I was a student of engineering in India, and Osho came in the city where I was a student. I saw a poster on the wall saying that Osho, (at that time he was called Acharya Rajneesh), was going to deliver a lecture. So in the afternoon I saw the poster, and the same evening I was there to attend his lecture.
And at the first lecture, the moment I saw him, I started crying. He had not started even speaking. He was on the dias, and as you know, in those days, Osho used to wear just a lunghi, with a shawl on his shoulders. He was not wearing a gown or anything, just a white lunghi and a shawl. He was in his 30s, very young, very dynamic. He was sitting on the dias. It was an evening in March, and the dias was near the Ganges. So a cool breeze was coming from the riverside it was very pleasant.
The whole atmosphere was very hypnotic, and when I saw him, he looked to me like a man from some other planet, not of this earth. And the first thing which attracted me was his physical beauty. He was so graceful, and dressed in white he looked so attractive, with a black beard and black hair, and young and very energetic. So I was first attracted by his physical beauty. He had not started speaking. Some woman was singing a Bhajan, and Osho was just waiting his turn to speak. But those moments of silence - Osho was sitting very silently, very meditatively - his silence and his grace created an impact in my heart, and I felt like crying. I stopped myself in the beginning, because there was a lot of people in the audience, and there were some friends from my college also with me. (I thought) what will they feel, that I am crying for no reason, and he has not even started speaking. So I tried to stop myself, but I couldnt. The tears started rolling down from my eyes. I was also amazed why this was happening to me, but his charisma, his magnetism, his presence was so powerful, that I couldnt stop myself when I started crying.
And it has happened to me whenever I went to see him after some interval I used to go to Poona (Pune) every three months but each time I would go, the first three or four days, I will cry looking at him. I couldnt stop myself; his brilliance was so strong. So that moment, even before he started speaking, my heart echoed that this is the man I was waiting for.
And when he started speaking, he was criticising all traditions, his talk was really very fiery. All his talks were very fiery and very strong, and he used to criticise all traditions and I was a traditional Hindu seeker. I was born into a Hindu family and I was trained by many Hindu masters, so I had a very Hindu conditioning, and he was hammering the Hindu tradition. Whatever he was saying, my mind was not accepting it, my mind was in conflict with his ideas. But my heart was in total agreement, to me it looked like he was speaking the truth, what he is speaking is truth: my heart was in agreement and my mind was in conflict, so I was a split personality.
By the moment he finished his lecture, I had totally convinced myself that this man is speaking the truth and nothing but truth, and he has a vision, and when he said that he needed just one hundred people I became animated. Osho said I am also looking for a hundred devoted and surrendered people, if I can get a hundred people, then I will change the whole future of humanity. Then I decided that I am going to be one I dont know about (the other) 99! As a Hindu I know I have taken many lives, and those many lives I have just drifted, so why not surrender one life for a spiritual cause, even if it does not give me comfort, or even if I am cheated, whats wrong, because I have another life to take, as a Hindu I know that I have many lives, so that one life I should sacrifice for him, and so I surrendered to him.
In those days there was no sannyas. He was called Acharya Rajneesh, and we were called his lovers, or his fellow travellers. There was no sannyas, and the master-disciple relationship had not started. But from the core of my heart I surrendered to him, and I knew that he was my master, and I am his disciple. It started that way in March 1969.
Q: When did Osho ask you to start a centre in Nepal?
My first personal audience was in October 1969, in Gujarat, in the seashore town called Dwarika I had my first personal contact meeting. At that contact I had a very intimate talk with Osho, and Osho told me that he was looking for me! I told him that I had written several letters before I met him, so he remembered all those letters.
I was at that time a letter-writing freak ! I used to write three or four letters a week, and he was my beloved so I used to post several letters a week to him. But he remembered when I talked to him and he said that, Oh, I remember your letters, and I was waiting for you.
In reply to my letters his only reply was to come and to attend a camp. He wrote to me that any questions I give are not going to solve your problem. You have to meditate, and through meditation you will get energy, and that energy will answer your question. So come to the camp. That was his command. So I went to attend his camp in October, and there I had a personal meeting. And when I told him that I am from Nepal because in those days only local people were interested in him, there were no foreigners, and he was conducting a camp at Gujarat, so most of the participants were Gujarati. There was a few people from Bombay, but almost all were Gujarati. So I was the only non-Gujarati, the only one who had travelled from a long distance, from Nepal. Everybody was surprised that oh, people have started coming even from Nepal to Oshos camp - because all other people were from local towns in Gujarat.
So when I told him that: Osho, I have come from Kathmandu, he told me that there is a great potentiality in Nepal, and he asked me to spread his message there, because at that time there was no sannyas, so there was no formal Osho Meditation Centre. So we used to make a centre that was called Rajneesh Prem Parimal - family of Rajneesh that was the meaning. So the objective of this Rajneesh Prem Parimal, was to keep his books available, and to conduct once a month some silent meditation, because at that time there was no active meditation. So Osho asked me to start Prem Parimal, and it started the same year.
After he settled down in Poona, and then he started giving meditation centres, so in 1974 he told me to change the name, and he gave me the name of Ashesh Rajneesh Meditation Centre. That started in 1974 in my house - so thats when the centre started.