Interview with Swami Anand Arun Ji, Founder of Osho Tapoban International Commune

Swami Anand Arun Ji

A conversation with Swami Anand Arun Ji, Founder of Osho Tapoban International Commune

Welcome to this enlightening interview with Swami Anand Arun Ji, the esteemed Founder of Osho Tapoban International Commune.

A beacon of wisdom and spirituality, Swami Anand Arun Ji has dedicated his life to guiding individuals on a profound inner journey, allowing them to discover their true selves and attain higher consciousness.

As a disciple of the renowned mystic and philosopher Osho, Swami Anand Arun Ji carries forward the legacy of his master by creating a sanctuary where seekers from all walks of life can immerse themselves in meditation, self-discovery, and transformative practices.

In this exclusive conversation, we delve into the profound teachings, the vision, and the profound impact of Osho Tapoban International Commune, uncovering the essence of Swami Anand Arun Ji’s spiritual journey and the transformative experiences of countless souls who have found solace in this sacred space.

Tell us a little about yourself

Swami Anand Arun Ji: My mother was a politician and legislator, and my father served as a private security officer for Nepal’s prime minister.

I am an engineer who has worked with the government of Nepal, and during my tenure, I had the privilege of being the chairman of the company that founded the largest consultancy in Nepal, BDA.

I have been conducting meditation retreats across the world for over 30 years. And from the past 15 years,

I have been traveling the world, fully immersed in meditation and conducting meditational camps and full time running several large Osho communes in Nepal including Osho Tapoban, Osho Jetaban and Osho Upaban. 

Could you please share with us the inspiration behind establishing Osho Tapoban International Commune? What was the vision and mission that led you to create this spiritual community? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: My guru, Osho, guided and inspired me to establish a commune in the Himalayas. In 1986, Osho visited Kathmandu for his world tour. I had already started a center in my home called Asheesh a decade prior on Osho’s instructions and his visit in 1986 further solidified the parameters and vision for what was to become Osho Tapoban.

Following his spiritual guidance and compassionate vision, we formally established the Osho Tapoban International Commune in 1990, which has grown to become a prominent spiritual center globally. 

Our spiritual practice encompasses two essential elements: first is the guidance of the teachings of an enlightenment master, which we receive through our Guru’s grace, and secondly, “Sangha” or a community of meditators or seekers of the path.

Osho had established various Sanghas or communes, intending to create a holistic way of life. While he had initiated a commune in America, called Rajneeshpuram, its survival was hindered by political factors.

Therefore, he advised us to establish smaller communes, each accommodating around 200-300 individuals, before expanding worldwide.

Currently, we have close to 100 meditation centers, communes, and ashrams in Nepal, acting as stepping stones towards establishing several more Osho sanghas globally. 

The significance of Sangha lies in its ability to help us experience the energy within and discipline our thoughts.

Practicing with a Sangha or fellow seekers gives strong support for beginners, as it takes around 5 to 6 months to integrate the practices, depending on various factors.

Once the process is rooted, individuals can return to their home countries and continue their meditation journey. Our aim is to establish a powerful sangha worldwide, with its center being Nepal.

Osho Tapoban has become a renowned international commune attracting people from various walks of life. What elements do you believe make it a unique and transformative space for spiritual seekers? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: Osho’s profound spiritual guidance continues to inspire and energize us even though he is no longer physically present.

I have spent nearly 54 years working closely with my Guru, and his teachings have left a profound impact on the formation and functioning of our commune.

During the early years, before the establishment of the commune, I traveled to places like, Mumbai, Pune, Rajneeshpuram and Manali receiving continued guidance from Osho. 

The commune’s physical location holds immense spiritual significance. It is situated in the forest where Nagarjuna, a revered Buddhist Master, meditated and attained enlightenment under a tree.

Moreover, Buddhist and Nalanda monks meditated in the area for many decades, infusing the atmosphere with a unique and charged energy.

Based on this historical context, we decided to keep the commune around that sacred tree, allowing it to be continually infused with that divine energy.

Presently, members of our community, including myself, meditate there for approximately 6-8 hours every day, amplifying the sanctity of the space. 

As a disciple of Osho, how have his teachings influenced your own spiritual journey and the formation of Osho Tapoban? What aspects of Osho’s philosophy do you emphasize in your teachings? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: One of the key contributions of Osho’s teachings lies in their comprehensive nature, encompassing both spiritual and material aspects of life.

Unlike other gurus, Osho did not prohibit access to physical comforts. Instead, he was the first guru to acknowledge the importance of providing amenities for the physical comfort of commune residents, including delicious cuisine, dancing, and laughter.

As a result, the Osho Tapoban community exudes an atmosphere of joyful celebration, akin to a “Happy Mela,” complete with dancing, jokes, sumptuous food, comfortable accommodations, and an air-conditioned meditation hall.

Before Osho, such an inclusive approach was unheard of. Traditionally, religious pursuits involved solitary meditation without consideration for comfort or joy.

However, Osho introduced a rainbow of experiences, allowing people to revel in physical pleasures while also engaging in meditation. 

One of the key aspects emphasized in Osho’s teachings is holistic education and growth. He believed that society must advance both technologically and materially, and that technology and meditation can harmoniously coexist.

This simple yet profound message is at the heart of our community’s philosophy. Tapoban serves as a living model of how humanity can thrive together, transcending caste and national prejudices.

Our commune is home to individuals from diverse backgrounds, including Russia, Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, Afghanistan and Arabic countries, who coexist harmoniously, dancing and dining together.

No judgment is based on educational qualifications or professional titles, as engineers, doctors, and Ph.D. holders are treated as equals.

Living in a commune can be a transformative experience for individuals seeking spiritual growth. What are the core principles and practices followed at Osho Tapoban that facilitate personal and collective growth? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: At Osho Tapoban, meditation takes precedence as the most significant aspect of our spiritual journey. We start our days with yoga and meditation, and everyone is actively engaged in various departments such as the kitchen and cleaning.

Each department is equally valued, and no work is discriminated against. Communal services, such as cooking, cleaning, and printing of books, are considered essential components of the commune’s functioning. 

Our core principle revolves around spiritual growth through meditation. The day begins and ends with meditation, and we incorporate multiple meditation sessions throughout the day.

Our day typically starts early in the morning and concludes around 9:30 pm, allowing for approximately nine hours of meditation daily. 

In today’s fast-paced world, how does Osho Tapoban help individuals find inner peace and balance amidst the chaos of modern life? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: The human mind is often the source of chaos. Nature, including trees and birds, remains serene without any turmoil.

The only place where conflicts arise is within the human mind. We need to teach the mind to be active and creative when needed, yet capable of being silent and calm when not required, much like logging on and off a computer.

Unfortunately, many of us struggle to “log off” our minds, which remains active 24/7. People think about work, family, and various concerns even while driving, resulting in a constant stream of racing thoughts, leading to a waste of energy.

In Tapoban, we guide individuals on how to effectively utilize their minds, allowing for complete silence when not needed.

This enables individuals to relax fully without the mind’s incessant influence. Through this guidance, people can find inner peace and tranquility amid the chaos of modern life. 

Meditation is a central aspect of Osho’s teachings. How does Osho Tapoban approach meditation, and what benefits do participants experience through the practice of Osho’s dynamic meditation techniques? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: The benefits of meditation are well-known, and even medical practitioners often prescribe it alongside other treatments for conditions like depression.

Meditation offers a profound sense of tranquility. Regular meditation slows down the aging process considerably.

In Tapoban, individuals have experienced a slowing down of the aging process, with some individuals in their 40s appearing as if they are in their 20s.

This applies to both men and women, who have experienced a slower aging process and overall improved physical and mental fitness. 

The most significant benefit is that regular meditation allows individuals to maintain their physical and mental well-being over time.

Our ultimate lakshya or aim is nirvana or moksha (enlightenment) but for most people it is just a word or concept.

As people dive deeper into their practice they start understanding its real meaning. At Tapoban, individuals experience improved sleep quality, even after years of struggling with sleep disorders. Within just 3-4

days of arriving at Tapoban, participants often report improved sleep patterns, allowing them to rest for 7-8 hours.

Dynamic meditation, a method introduced by Osho, is the key to addressing various challenges. Learning dynamic meditation empowers individuals to practice any meditation better, including Vipassana (a form of meditation). 

Osho Tapoban has been a center for healing and self-discovery. Can you share some inspiring stories of individuals who have undergone profound transformations during their time at the commune? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: Tapoban has played a pivotal role in preventing many suicide attempts and saving the lives of thousands individuals struggling with medication-dependent depression.

Their lives have transformed significantly during their stay at the commune. For instance, there was a person who had not experienced a single night of restful sleep for the past 20 years, a significant challenge for survival.

Despite trying numerous medical treatments and remedies, he remained sleepless. However, after arriving at Tapoban, he began experiencing good quality sleep, resting for 7-8 hours each night. 

Another individual who had battled alcohol addiction used to consume whisky throughout the day, but now, through the transformative experience at Tapoban, has completely overcome the addiction and lives a sober life.

Another inspiring story involves a woman who attempted suicide multiple times through various means.

Her family brought her to Tapoban, where she spent ten days. Following this brief period, she emerged with a renewed sense of joy and a smile on her face. 

Osho Tapoban emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and authenticity. How do you guide individuals to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their true nature? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: In Tapoban, the natural environment with its forest reserve, pure air, and clean water provides a conducive setting for individuals to connect with their true selves.

Amidst nature’s embrace, individuals can experience a deeper understanding of themselves and their authentic nature.

It is within the human mind where conflict and chaos arise, whereas nature remains serene. The teachings at Tapoban focus on training the mind to be creative and active when necessary while allowing it to rest in silence when not needed.

This is akin to logging on and off a computer. Through this process, individuals can fully relax without the constant turmoil of the mind. We guide people on how to effectively utilize their minds, facilitating self-awareness and authenticity. 

Osho Tapoban offers various programs and retreats. Could you tell us about some of the specialized programs available and their specific objectives? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: Osho devised 600 different meditation methods, but at Tapoban, we primarily focus on the most essential meditation techniques. We have specific meditations designed to address

depression and other mental ailments. Dynamic meditation is a prominent method that individuals can learn and practice.

Additionally, we conduct transformation retreats at Tapoban for 7 days, occurring four times every month. Participants are welcome to attend for at least 7-8 days and can then decide which program to pursue. 

For those who cannot physically visit Osho Tapoban, are there any online resources or virtual programs available to connect with the teachings and community? 

Swami Anand Arun Ji: Yes, we offer online satsangs in English, Hindi, and Nepali. These satsangs, along with Q&A sessions and Shakti Path, are conducted more than four times every month.

Interested individuals can join our programs for free on Facebook and YouTube, allowing them to connect with our teachings and community virtually.

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