Darshan: Travel reference
Ilona Guntyalova, a beautiful girl from London, was among the campers who came from many countries to participate in the training camp in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, in September last year. She was very impressed by the camp and influenced by Osho’s sadhana, she took initiation on the last day of the camp and became Prem Chetna. On the day of her departure from the camp, she said, ‘Such a camp is very necessary in London. If a similar camp could be organized there, many British people would benefit.’
Organizing a sadhana camp in London is not easy. It is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Finding a suitable location is often impossible. Even if you find it, you have to book it in advance at a very high price. It is difficult to estimate how many people participate in the camp. Based on that estimate, there was a big problem of having to book and pay for the meditation hall and living room in advance. Another irony of Europe is that if such programs are organized after the holidays, there is a possibility of gathering people, but during the holidays, the places needed for the camps are already booked at a high price by the holidaymakers, which adds more complexity to it. The question of how many campers would come was suddenly in front of the organizers.
Previously, the number of participants in residential yoga and meditation camps was less than 10, which is certainly not encouraging. On the assumption that friends from other countries of Europe would come, arrangements were made for 30 people from April 6 to 10 after the Easter holiday, but as the discussion of this camp started to spread, all the seats were booked a month in advance. Now it was necessary to search for a bigger place. With great difficulty arrangements were made for 40 more people near the camp, which too became booked out. The organizers were happy and surprised to see this success.
On the evening of 4th April, we reached Heathrow Airport in Delhi. At the counter, people of every race are arranged to check the visa. Seeing the Nepalese passport, the officer of Indian origin asked in Hindi, ‘When will you leave?’ At the airport in the farthest Europe, the immigration did not feel psychological pressure to speak in English from another fair-skinned colleague.
21 years ago I stayed in London for six nights on my way to Rajneeshpuram. It was found that there has been a big change in London then and now. It is said that whoever is tired of London is tired of life because London is always changing itself. London has a population of 75 million but four times more tourists visit this city every year.
Due to the diplomatic, military and commercial capabilities of this country located on an island, it extended its rule to vast territories such as India and Australia. The sun never set in its empire. The imprint of this multiculturalism can still be clearly seen in London today. One third of the city’s residents were born abroad. About 100 languages are spoken in London. People from more than 40 cultures have lived together in friendship and intimacy. English speakers are in the minority in some parts of London. If you go to Southall, you will feel like you are in Delhi. Similarly, thousands of Nepalis live in Farmborough, Plumbeast, Haase, Yarrow, Surrey. No one could say for sure how many Nepalis there are in Britain. It was heard that this number was from 50 thousand to 100 thousand. Now, after the British government has given permission for ex-Gurkha soldiers to migrate with their families, this number is increasing by about 40,000. Nepalis entered Britain as ex-Gurkha soldiers. Entered the Nepali restaurant service in the seventies. Gradually, due to hard work, some of them became restaurant owners. Their economic status is relatively good. They bought their own house and car and live well. In the same way, there are also many highly skilled Nepali experts who are living on good salaries but are struggling hard for their livelihood.
It was a pleasant experience when I met Nepali engineer and doctor friends who took initiation from me in Osho Tapoban in London. As many as 15-20 sannyasins were found in good condition.
There is a clear impression of Indians in London. There are about two million Indians in the UK. 75 percent of them have their own house. The number of Englishmen living in the city is not so much. The price of a small apartment here is about three hundred thousand pounds. The contribution of Indians to the national GDP is 15 to 20 percent. London’s stock market is one of the largest in the world. In this too, the second shareholding after America belongs to Indians. British food is generally not famous. At our five-day camp at Lawton Beach in Epping Forest, North London, you have to be satisfied with cold food in the name of continental breakfast and lunch.
That’s where I remembered French President Jacques Chirac’s strategy. He has been saying, ‘The food of these two countries, Finland and Britain, is the most tasteless in the world, how can you trust those who eat such bad food?’ But when he visited London, compared to the capitals of other countries, he found dishes from all the countries of the world. The city is convenient for vegetarians, especially because of the British preference for vegetarian food. When I saw the British culture of very polite behavior, commitment of time and never interfering in the lifestyle of others, I thought that Sirac’s expression was only a result of the traditional rivalry between France and Britain.