Today (Press coverage
August - December 2002) |
Old Rajneesh Commune Lightens Up in Afterlife -
By AMY WALDMAN
PUNE, India — Participants in the Osho Commune International wear maroon most of the time, because that is what Osho wanted. For evening meditation they wear white, because Osho wanted it that way.
They takes AIDS tests before entering the commune, because Osho said they should. The buildings in the commune are black, with blue film on the windows — yes, Osho wanted that, too.
But these days almost nowhere in the commune that bears his name are there pictures of the late Osho himself.
Would Osho have wanted that?
Osho, better known to many Americans as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was a diminutive Indian self-help guru who attracted thousands of followers in the 1970's and 1980's with talk about sex as a path to
He and his followers set up a commune in Oregon, taking over the town of Antelope, where he acquired 93 Rolls-Royces and news columns of controversy before he was arrested and deported for immigration violations in 1985.
He returned here, his early base, and revived his commune, with acolytes catering to his every whim. In 1990 he "left his body," as his
followers say, dying of a mysterious illness at age 58.
He also left behind an empire centered on his 7,000 hours of audiotapes; books, now in 47 languages; meditations; and the 40-acre commune in this balmy industrial city about 100 miles from Bombay.
Ever since, a power struggle has swirled among his devotees, many of whom Osho formed into a 21-member Inner Circle before he died. These days the five disciples who managed to win control — a Canadian, a Briton, two Germans, an Indian — and a few add-ons have undertaken the de-Oshoization of the Osho commune.
Hundreds of his pictures have been taken down. The Osho Times rarely features Osho's face. Those who want to be sannyasins, or initiates, no longer have to wear a string of beads with Osho's picture around their necks.
The thinking is that for young people who knew little of Osho, having his picture everywhere — and it was everywhere, from the entrance to the swimming pool — was a big turnoff.
"Someone comes in and there are like 1,000 pictures of this dead guy, and they're like 'Whoa, get me out of here,' " said D'arcy O'Byrne, a lawyer known as Swami Yogendra, who is part of the management team. He wore maroon suede Helmut Lang shoes with his maroon robe.
Osho Commune International is, in fact, no longer a commune; it is the Osho Meditation Resort, with increasing emphasis on resort. Amid the lush greenery and waterfalls, there are tennis courts where noncompetitive Zennis is played, a giant swimming pool with maroon bikinis on sale, a sauna and a cybercafe.
It still draws young Westerners eager to relax, fix a relationship, or find one, or figure out how to free themselves of attachments. But Osho has also become popular among young Indians.
"In India, Osho has become a cocktail party name," said Sanjay Bharthi, 34, a freelance graphic designer who described the Osho lifestyle as "so aesthetic, so juicy, so modern, and at the same time so peaceful."
Not peaceful enough, perhaps. The resort focus, the rising prices and the disappearance of Osho's image have displeased a group of mostly Indian followers who have left the commune to set up their own operation in Delhi, Osho World, which includes an art gallery and Web site.
"The focus has shifted from spirituality to it being like a club," said Swami Chaitanya Keerti, the commune's former spokesman. "It's a long-term plan to systematically kill the spirit of Osho from within."
The latest battle has been over Buddha Hall, the tented marble platform where Osho led meditations. The commune's leaders have constructed a new, air-conditioned meditation hall — an 18,000-square-foot black pyramid with a black marble floor and state-of-the art sound system, but no Osho picture. When it opened in early November, they began dismantling Buddha Hall.
The dissidents baying at the commune gate, since they are no longer allowed inside, were furious.
"You can create the seventh wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal, and that place will not have Osho's energy, and that of 10,000 people meditating with him," Swami Keerti, who wears a gold Osho ring, said of the hall's historic importance.
As if assembling a legal dossier, those in control have scoured the master's words to prove that the new look is exactly what he would have wanted. He embraced change. He hated religion and all its trappings, and the concept of gurus, although he did not mind being treated like one when he was alive.
The two camps are also arguing over who owns the master's words. Swami Keerti argued that Osho's meditations were never meant to be trademarked, as the group is trying to do. Mr. O'Byrne, the lawyer on the management committee, disagreed. "Osho was very, very legalistic," he said.
Asked why he thought Swami Keerti was so angry, Mr. O'Byrne replied, "I think it's because he's not meditating."
In truth, Osho is still around. His library of about 100,000 volumes is intact, as is the air-conditioned enclosed walkway built for him to enjoy a junglelike garden without being bothered by the heat.
His ashes are there too, beneath a plaque reading "Never Born, Never Died, Only Visited This Planet," in a cavernous round room with Italian marble, Spanish mirrors and a German chandelier.
To read this article on the web -
Meditation Camp at
|Osho talks about the
"The energy goes on moving away and away from you, towards
the periphery. Once you are the master, the energy starts moving
homeward. Kabir, one of the great Indian mystics, has said,
"The day I became enlightened, I saw the Ganges flowing
upcurrent, flowing back to the source." He is right: the
Ganges then no longer goes towards the ocean; it goes back towards
Gangotri, the origin from where it comes in the Himalayas."
supreme blessing of my Life - Thomas Pope
Two years later, in the late 1970s, he became a disciple of the mystic Osho Rajneesh, whose teachings he continues to follow. Rajneesh gave Thomas Pope the name Anand Naren, which means "bliss king" in Hindi. "Meeting this spiritual master has been the supreme blessing of my life," Naren says.
To read more click the following URL -
the spirit of Eternal India
New Delhi, August 14 2002
holds a special place in the heart of Osho. He says,
"India is not just geography or history. It is not only a
nation, a country, a mere piece of land. It is something more: it is a
metaphor, poetry, something invisible but very tangible. It is vibrating
with certain energy fields which no other country can claim."
with the Independence Day every year in August, Osho World
celebrates the spirit of eternity that India is.
The week long
celebrations known as the ‘India My Love Week’ started on 12th August
this year. Ms. Kavita Khanna, wife of Swami Vinod Bharti, Union Minister
for Tourism and Culture inaugurated the week long celebrations at Osho
World Galleria located at Ansal Plaza in New Delhi. Former Governor of
Uttar Pradesh and veteran Parliamentarian Shri B. R. Satyanarayan Reddy
was the chief guest at the occasion. Grammy Award winner and inventor of
double violin L. Shankar and his musical partner Ginger were also
present at the inauguration.
at the occasion Ms Khanna said that she was delighted that her maiden
public appearance was at Osho World at the inauguration of this event of
national importance and in tune with the vision of Osho for what eternal
India stands for in its collective consciousness.
My Love week’ takes its name from a landmark book of the same name
that features insights of Osho into India's spiritual heritage. Focus of the
week was another Osho book of his provocative discourses on India entitled
'India's Burning Questions' originally published in Hindi as 'Bharat ke
jalte prashn'. A CD of these taped discourses on solutions to India's
problems was also launched in MP3 format at the function. A brief humming
meditation was also held to mingle with the spiritual energy abound in
spirit of Indianness was evident at the Osho World galleria
specially decorated in the colours of India's national flag for the
occasion while well known singer Sandeep Shrivastava sang Sanskrit
hymns and Kabir bhajans to remind all present about the eternal
says, "For almost ten thousand years, thousands of people have
reached to the ultimate explosion of consciousness. Their vibration is
still alive, their impact is in the very air; you just need a certain
perceptivity, a certain capacity to receive the invisible that surrounds
this strange land." The Osho Upanishad.
As part of India's 55th Independence Celebrations and Osho's 70th Birthday
Celebrations, a set of the spiritual master's books was also presented to
the speaker of Lok Sabha, Mr Manohar Joshi, for the library of the Indian
Parliament at a special function on the 13th August
Minister for State for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Vinod Khanna, and his wife
Ms Kavita Khanna, and former Governor of four States and a former Rajya
Sabha Member, Mr B. Satyanarayan Reddy were present at this
function.Thanking Osho World Foundation for this gift, Mr Joshi said many
MPs have been reading Osho and this set of 116 in Hindi and 106 in English
books will enable more MPs to get a better idea of his insights.
this ceremony, Dr Lavlin Thadani, an Osho disciple and a media
personality, read out an extract from Osho's vision of an enlightened
India or its eternal identity named Bharat. In this extract Osho explains
that the word 'Bharat' consists of 'Bha' or light and 'Rat' means involved
in this pilgrimage to realize this light within oneself. Those who are on
this journey can be called the real Indians - Amritasya Putrah.
year Union Home Minster Shri L. K. Advani inaugurated the ‘India My Love
Week’ and had said that, ‘India
My Love’ is a feeling that should extend throughout one’s life instead
of just one week.
Krishna Reigns Supreme at Osho World Celebration
26 August 2002, New Delhi
"Geeta needs to be dusted
and re-interpreted for every age. Krishna himself comes to dust and
re-interpret his Geeta in every age. But can you recognize him?" said
Osho in his discourses on ‘Geeta Darshan’.
Considering the energy field created at the inauguration of Krishna Week
on Sunday at Osho World Galleria with Osho's taped insight on Krishna,
Krishna art, Krishna dance and Krishna music, everyone present experienced
Osho's presence and the same energy - call it Krishna and/or Osho.
The effervescence of Krishna's art, dance and music as in Osho's vision of
Raas, a divine celebration and the interplay of energies, came alive at
this celebration of Osho and Krishna.
With evocative 'Bhaav' or expressions and graceful steps, well known
Kathak dancer Pragati Sood presented the beauty of Lord Krishna describing
his magnetic eyes, his mesmerizing flute, his gorgeous peacock feather,
his glorious crown and his elegant walk as the words of a Thumri sung by a
vocalist described Krishna's playfulness with his devoted Gopis.
In an episode from Krishan-Leela, Pragati went on to enchant a packed
Galleria by playing Radha who gets annoyed with Krishna's teasing and
decided with other Gopis to teach him a lesson. They over-power him, tie
him and adorn him as a Gopi with ornaments and a veil leaving him in the
village square to be laughed at. Pragati enacted this legend in her
scintillating Nrittya and lively Abhinaya depicting how Krishna threw a
stone to break the earthen water pot that Radha was carrying and how they
dressed Krishna as a Gopi to teach him a lesson.
Before her performance, Pragati launched an MP3 CD of Krishna Smriti, the
first ten discourses by Osho on Lord Krishna's multi-dimensional persona
with Osho's insight on this divine and multi-dimensional
A Krishna devotee and a singer, Kavita Seth launched the latest issue of
Osho World Hindi Magazine before singing bhajans to present her melody and
enchantment for Krishna. Accompanied by a flute, the bhajans created an
elating atmosphere as everyone joined in some of the melodies in praise
and devoted to Krishna.
Glass paintings by Sadhna Kumar depicting Krishna with his mother,
friends, Gopis and brother Balram set the stage at Osho World Galleria for
the dance and music devoted to Lord Krishna. Living up to her name Sadhna
has expressed her devotion to Lord Krishna in vibrant colours handling
glass with great feeling and delicacy. The well-admired paintings were
much appreciated by art lovers. Krishna Week celebrates the festivities
associated with the birth of Lord Krishna and extends until 31 August 2002
with taped discourses of Osho on Krishna being played daily at 6 p.m.
Swami Chaitanya Keerti