Fight over Bhagwan’s heritage divides his following

Der Spiegel, 10. July, 2000 (Translation from German)

10 years after the death of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh a power struggle amongst his followers threatens to divide the global empire of the Indian guru – which is also an unsettling message for the German seekers of meaning in life, who still present one of the major groupings within the empire of the “orange people” from Poona. Two of the guru’s formerly closest confidants, his secretary Ma Yoga Neelam and spokesperson Chaitanya Keerti, say that they have been denied entry to the large compound of the commune’s headquarters by some members of the powerful “inner leading circle”. Neelam, Keerti and a number of other veterans had openly critisized in the Indian media the plans of Canadian Ashram-boss Swami Jayesh to transfer the economic headquarter of the community outside India.
The magazine India Today informs us that the followers of Bhagwan, who in the end called himself Osho (the blessed one on whom flowers shower from heaven), are allowed to publish their master’s words only against fees – and almost nothing of the returns remains in India: royalties for the 1500 books in 40 languages and 400 audio tapes have to be paid to the firm Osho International in New York which is a subsidiary of a Swiss foundation of the same name.
Now the followers fear that some business minded Westerners could gain full control over Bhagwan’s fortune – consisting of 750 meditation centers in 80 countries, his diamond accessories and the Rolls Royce fleet. Since the master’s death already 15 members have left the Inner Circle of 21 managing leaders in Poona, inclunding Elfie Donnelly the author who in 1978 won the German book price for young literature.
Sw. Ganja Vedant, a long time follower, says: “Greed is spreading like cancer in our commune.” The dissidents are calling to courts and politicians.

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