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More than the mundane

Arun’s autobiographical spiritual journey—Lone Seeker, Many Masters—provides a series of all-encompassing revelations

Lone Seeker, Many Masters by Swami Anand Arun is one of the few books that provide an encyclopaedic knowledge of many enlightened ascetics, gurus, and masters, as experienced through the heart of a young engineer who became a Bodhisattva and a renowned contemporary mystic. Lone Seeker, Many Masters reveals a kaleidoscope of enlightened possibility.

This book, now in English, provides a major pipeline from the East’s enlightened heritage. Arun shares vivid firsthand accounts of his time spent with or his connection to over 30 Awakened Ones, some of them nearing obscurity. The moving description of Arun’s relationship with god-realised souls of past and present is a gift to history. In his telling, rare beings, such as the 250-year-old Totapuri Baba and others, brighten the foreground of a quickly fading history. Reading Arun’s personal

connection to greats like Swami Vivekananda is great joy, animating a “historical” saint in living colour and bringing him that much closer.

For years now, many spiritual seekers have had the privilege of sitting in meditation with Nepal’s Bodhisattva Swami Anand Arun, founder of Osho Tapoban in Kathmandu. An ardent enthusiast and lover of Osho, Arun is like a hollow bamboo for the Master, reaching hundreds of thousands of people around the world on his travels. There can be no mistake that what fuels Arun is divinely extraordinary and that his spiritual search has been total.

Delving into Arun’s autobiographical spiritual journey, Lone Seeker, Many Masters provides a series of all-encompassing revelations, not only about the Enlightened Ones who profoundly influenced Arun, but also about Arun himself, who writes, “I am well aware that not all of these stories might be justifiable to a rational mind. I am sharing them here with the hope that these accounts will give you courage to jump into the unknown and assure you that there is more to this world than meets the eye.”

Covering many years and terrains, Lone Seeker, Many Masters is the story of a seeker and the treasures he found along the way. Arun fluidly dances across past lives and weaves dimensions together, revealing a natural comfort with mysticism and miracles. It’s thrilling to trek with him from an icy cave on a Himalayan peak, to a fertile floor of a sacred jungle, to the banks of the flowing Ganga. Intense curiosity fuels the narrative across colourful, brief chapters. A mysterious discontent propels the solitary seeker

forward, to find truth in the eyes of another or in the sacred place of their enlightenment.

These colourful cameos of 30 masters function like a kaleidoscope of enlightened possibility. Always soul-enriching, the impact of these stories accumulates and whirls the reader into a strong current of truth. It’s a rare sky that forms overhead when reading about so many enlightened beings in one sitting. Lone Seeker, Many Masters gives understanding, humour, compassion, and depth through this most precious and celebrated point of view.

With all the intensity of a “divine romance,” the young engineer Arun goes on a seemingly irrational path that displeases his parents. It’s a miracle that he can balance both external and internal worlds. He supervises major engineering projects in between visits with ecstatic god-realised men and women, and deftly manoeuvres between dimensions where the unbelievable happens.

While paying homage to Swami Vivekananda, Arun’s relentless search comes to rest only in the presence of Osho, one magical evening in 1969. Arun writes of seeing Osho for the first time: “His long black beard and hair danced to the rhythm of the evening breeze, his radiant face blanched with the rays of the moon, emanated grace. I looked at him in disbelief. I couldn’t believe a human body could be so beautiful. My heart was filled with the loftiest sentiments.”

Commentaries towards the end of the 319-page book are dedicated to “all those seekers who have sacrificed their lives in search of truth.” Arun shares rare insights into the motivations of Gandhi and Carl Jung, and why they chose not to have darshan with Sri Raman Maharshi. The final pages offer an intense send off into the unknown by featuring three radical seekers who seem very much on the fringe and may or may not become enlightened. They live in the most extreme locales and practice harsh austerities. They all demonstrate the same intense longing Arun describes in his own search, and it seems fitting to conclude the book with respect for them as well as suspense about the unknown ahead.

Emphasising the lasting spiritual value of the sacred places of birth, enlightenment, and death, Arun includes addresses of several sacred places as if to call us to there. Newcomers on the path will enjoy the wonderful English glossary of Sanskrit/Hindi spiritual terms for easy reference. With a beautiful design and aesthetic graphics, this profound book opens new doors in the soul, and beckons you to keep going, to find your own way, your own climate, your own place. Featuring images of diverse masters, the underlying message is that enlightenment takes many forms and reminds one to live that individual path that is yours and yours alone.

A condensed compilation about so many enlightened beings makes us look at ourselves and our path with much greater awareness. These contrasting stories help us understand how specific requirements for realisation can be. Arun adds to our understanding and tolerance by reminding us to regard each human as purely unique. Not many of us have the urge to walk all over the world, as did Shivapuri Baba who lived 136 years, or sit in an icy cave like the woman named Suvadra Mata. Only God knows our timing and the specific situation needed for waking us up. It could happen in an ice cave but it could also happen in a small apartment. Arun also emphasises that we need to understand how an enlightened person’s prana and his or her place of awakening are inextricably linked, and must be treated with proper sanctity and special care to benefit humanity. Arun highlights his longstanding dream in the case of Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, whose body is secluded in a mortuary but should be interred in a sacred Samadhi shrine to show proper respect and to benefit visitors.

Always piercingly truthful and emotionally real, Arun balances his rational engineering side with passionate poetry when describing the masters he loves so completely. Gratitude pours from his pen when he writes of his first yogi, a silent mystic who communicated with him by writing on a slate: “…Mastaram’s face sailed gently through my memory like a luminous star. That night and for the next three years before I met my master, his words became my pathfinder, always challenging and assuring me, simultaneously.”

Fulfilling Swami Vivekananda’s words from many years ago that “Arun will initiate a great spiritual movement in Nepal,” Arun has done exactly that and so much more. In fact, Swami Anand Arun has literally turned Nepal maroon, as Osho had also predicted, with six Osho communes and 75 Osho meditation centers, 150 centers in 59 different countries, and a commune in America. He has initiated around 100,000 people in 90 countries.

Lone Seeker, Many Masters is a masterwork, the masterpiece of a lifetime of seeking. This generous outpouring from Swami Anand Arun reveals the author as the most precious flowering of a life lived in total surrender and gratitude. His timeless words are rich with truth and love, and will be read and savoured time and time again.

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