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Remembering the Ganges in the land of the Volga – Swami Anand Arun

Reference: Circulation

After the death of Stalin in 1954, as a member of Nepal’s first delegation, my mother was on a three-month visit to Russia, and looking at the pictures of Russia that she brought and the Russian magazines that came home every month, I got the impression that Russians are heavy drinkers, very strong, hardworking and unspiritual. I had never dreamed that one day I would have to go to Russia with a spiritual message, but the spiritual sensitivity I found in Russia during this year’s visit and the attraction to Osho in the Russian heart proved my preconceptions wrong.

I see myself as nothing more than a seeker of truth and a devoted disciple of Osho, but the Russians respect me like a Buddha and a Sadhguru. In a short stay, hundreds of Russians became my close friends and admirers.

Moscow is one of the largest and most expensive cities in the world, home to 16 million people. I find the capital of any country in the world to be stressful because greedy and ambitious people from all over the country are drawn to the capital city and their ambitions are raging day and night and the city environment is feverish with greed and ambition. That’s why, before the Maoist problem, as soon as you go out of Kathmandu to the districts, you would experience a kind of peace, freedom and relaxation, not only because you got out of the polluted atmosphere, but also because you were freed from the micro waves of endless unsatisfied desires. Therefore, the original culture of any country is more alive in remote areas than in the capital of that country, but a surprising thing is that even though there are 1.5 million people and about 6 million vehicles passing along the banks, the Moscow River that flows through the city is relatively clean. Remembering the misery of Bagmati, I wanted to cry.

Despite the material comforts, the city of Moscow did not attract me, but the beauty of St. Petersburg, known as the Venice of the East and surrounded by the Neva River, seemed incomparable. This city was the capital of Russia during the time of the Tsar. During the Soviet rule, the capital was Moscow. After the death of Lenin, the city was renamed Leningrad in his honor, but after the fall of communism, there was a demand to keep the old name St. Petersburg. Lenin failed to win the hearts of the townspeople in the referendum and the town got its old name. Even though I wanted to, I couldn’t reach the world-famous Lake Baikal in Siberia, which is considered the largest in the world, but I was overwhelmed by the peace, beauty and love of the friends of Novosibirsk and Tyumen in Siberia.

Every time I leave the Himalayan region for a few days, I feel as if I have lost something in my heart, as if there is no life in the air. Since time immemorial, the sanctity of religious penance is dense in the atmosphere here. During the very busy trip of Russia, the strong attraction of Gangaji started to pull in the region of Volga. After returning from Russia, a week before the Dehradun camp, I decided to do sadhana on the secluded banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh.

When I arrived in Delhi, Gurubhai Harish from Haridwar called and requested me to stay at his house, but I wanted to stay on the quiet banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh rather than Haridwar. I never preferred to stay in Haridwar because it was more crowded and the big ashrams were business-oriented rather than sadhana-oriented.

The game of destiny was different. By the time it reached Haridwar, it was night and the vehicles were jammed due to the huge crowd of people taking eclipse bath in Gangaji. After the friends who came to pick me up told me that I would not be able to reach Rishikesh under any circumstances, I finally had to take shelter at Harishji’s residence. In the Saptasarovar area, to prevent the Ganges from spreading towards the city, a 3 km long dam has been built on the right bank, over which small vehicles can drive. There are many secluded beautiful ghats on its shores. In that part, the path of Gangaji is wide, on the other side there is a dense forest of Rajaji Park and there sometimes you can see a herd of elephants and deer. Although I have been to Haridwar many times, I have remained unfamiliar with the beauty and divinity of that region. Knowing that I had returned from Russia, my friends from Delhi and Nepal started gathering. Morning and evening meditation and Osho’s sermons began to resonate and soon that peaceful and beautiful house of Harishji turned into a vibrant Osho ashram. Harishji has also been a generous and tolerant person. Leaving the whole house to us, he was content to stay in the same house as a mute guest. The excellent cooking of Radhika from Biratnagar and Hasya from Haridwar made up for not being able to have a meal in Russia.

Ashrams and temples are found step by step in Haridwar. There is a lot of activity in them, but there is empty action in the name of Sadhana and rarely do you find sadhus. It was my inner desire that there should be such a holy meeting from which I could take some inspiration in Sadhana. It was in this spirit that we were roaming on the banks of the Ganges, hearing from our local friends Aseem and Harishji about a saint who was completely brash and preferred to call himself a wanderer in the guise of a sadhu, and we reached his beautiful Samadhi temple located on the banks of the Ganges. Fortunately, in the temple, the saint’s old disciple ‘Maltis’ met. Malati is a former professor born in an elite family. In a short time, we became close to him. From him we got to hear very interesting and inspiring things about Baba about his life, sadhana and teaching.

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