Deconstruction at Topoban

By Vishnu Basnet

A few days back I was at Osho Tapoban. It was after a long time I was there. The grand panorama of scenic beauty of the Nagurjuna hill was striking. There, Tapoban lied on the backdrop of the hills towering one after another formless and vast striking the strings of my being and arousing the feeling of sublimity. Surprisingly, what I had read of Burk and Kant was simply there on the canvas of nature onto which I projected a sense of awe and wonder.

After paying for the entry, I stepped down the labyrinthine stairs listening to the sound of silence. Sannyasins were seen in maroon robes here and there but with an expression of apathy- solipsistic and narcissistic. Nobody seemed caring for nobody. After a few minutes’ walk, I reached a small cataract which, nonetheless, made a heart-shaking sound. It was the same waterfall where I had spent so much time in the past meditating and dancing with its rhythm. It was in 1996 that I had first come to Tapoban for want of being a Sannyasin. The engraving of a leaf as a sign of love which I had done on a stone was there intact besides the waterfall making my memories rush forth. It defied time dissolving the present on the floor of memory. It was the same spot where a Dutch lady had embraced and kissed me. Oh, that heady time!

My rapt retrospection was broken by someone saying, “Hallo”. There he stood, an old friend, smiling but with an expression mixed with surprise and delight. “U know, you can love him (Osho) or hate him but u can’t ignore him. At last U r back at Taboban”, he cried. A parody of Osho’s statement, but nice one. Sannyasins in robes were seen entering the meditation hall and we followed them.

It was time for dynamic meditation. The holy time was as silent as a nun. Meditation took off with a melodious Eastern music and Mantra: “Buddham Sharanam Gacchami”. But as the heart-shaking Dionysic music began, everybody started crying, dancing and jumping. All types of suppressed desires found expressions. All the iron rigidities imposed upon the individual by society were broken. The whole of meditation hall was nothing short of a mad house bearing an undertone of terror.

After 45 minutes, everybody seemed tired and Sannyasins sprawled all over the floors of the hall, much like a field of war, say ‘Kuruchhetra’. Again melodious sound of classical music began to be heard. I felt I was lost somewhere deep down of my being. I was back home again. The pin drop silence was accompanied by chirping and chattering of birds outside.

After lunch, chatting, joking and laughing followed. Yoga classes were also conducted. Sw. Arun’s non-veg jokes created an incessant flow of laughing in the hall.

Now, it was time for another form of meditation- dancing. The stimulus of music was hard to be denied. Sannyasins began to dance madly. “We don’t need a partner, for everybody is both male and female”, said a Sannyasin. I was reminded of C.J. Young, the founder of analytical psychology, who first broke this hierarchy of male/female describing female side of female as ‘anima’ and the corresponding male side as ‘animus. Non Sannyasins also danced in the similar fashion being one with the Primodial One, the Brahma. Man here was not only an artist but himself a work of art. All the hierarchies of binary opposition between male/female,Sansara/ Nirvana, Sannyas/Sansara, Eastern/Western, Master/Disciple, Creator/creation and even God/ Man were broken being one in psychic unity.

Meditation was over and the setting sun outside threw a glow with its faint rays. The cold breeze struck against my face and I felt exulted. Sadly, the world outside was waiting for me. Doing ‘Pranam’ to the Samadhi of Osho, I said goodbye to Tapoban, my Tapoban.


1. I would like to congratulate you for the excellent write up Vishnu!Its brilliantly rhythmic as well as cohesive.I too have been there for a reporting but when you are in the throes of your job, you can’t enjoy the scenery and Nature’s gifts.Keep us enlightening with half-true-tales!

Comment by deepak — 1/25/2005 @ 2:13 pm

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