News Release, August 22, 2000
The Indian Government has been alerted to the patenting of Osho’s meditations in U.S.A. by Shri Dina Nath Mishra, M. P. of Rajya Sabha today. In a ‘Special Mention’ he issued to the august House, Shri Mishra has requested the Government of India to intervene in the legal dispute of Osho’s copyright and trademarks.
(Please see attached statement)
Commenting on this development, Swami Chaitanya Keerti, spokesperson of Osho World Foundation said, “An exhaustive set of Osho’s books graces the library of Indian Parliament for more than five years and Osho’s ‘Nadbrahma’ meditation was held when this set was presented to the then Speaker Shri Shivraj Patil.
“Now the very same meditation is being patented by a US based organisation – Osho International Foundation or OIF – claiming to administer Osho’s legacy.
“In addition, OIF is in the process of patenting Osho’s other popular meditations – Natraj, Gourishankar and Dynamic. When one applies for a trademark in USA, there is a review process where and attorney looks at the application, maybe asks questions to the applicant, and then publishes the trademark application for opposition. In fact, the Trademark Office asks the public if anyone has any objections to the trademark being registered. After all objections are considered, the application is either granted or denied.
“At present, none of Osho meditations have been patented by OIF but these patents can be granted by US Patent Office if no objections are raised in the next few days. One of these meditations, Kundalini raised so many questions that OIF abandoned their application. Then OIF filed another application to register a number of meditations under the title ‘Osho Active Meditations’ which is now open for raising any objections until mid-September 2000.
“Thus by bringing this issue to the attention of Parliament, Shri Dina Nath Mishra, M. P. Rajya Sabha, has taken a significant step to safeguard Osho’s legacy not only for India but for the entire world. Now this demands immediate action.
A similar concern was expressed in a recent statement by Indian filmstar and a Member of Parliament, Shri Vinod Khanna, “The fact that the copyright of all Osho’s works has been taken out of this country by handful of disciples who are claiming his legacy is not acceptable. Even his signature-paintings have been dubiously smuggled out of the country. They are even trying to patent his meditation techniques and have recently lost a court case in USA when they tried to restrict Osho’s name for a non-profit Osho website in New Delhi. This is the first blow to them and we should ensure that the copyright comes back to its right place – Osho ashram in Pune.”
“How can three or five persons based in Zurich and New York patent Osho’s meditations and copyright his works to manage his legacy on a commercial basis? The very same concern is expressed by Shri Mishra in Parliament as a ‘special mention’ to alert the attention of the Indian Government to this clandestine operation. Urgent action and follow up on this matter is required within the next few days or the patents will be granted,” said Swami Chaitainya Keerti.
Patenting Osho: Preposterous and Immoral, say Cultural Torchbearers
“How can you register the mudras of Bharat Natyam or the notes of a raga?” asked renowned cultural activist Padam Bhushan Sonal Mansingh who dismissed the idea of registering meditation techniques as ‘preposterous’.
“These techniques and artforms are an integral part of Indian heritage and cannot be patented or copyrighted by any group or organization in the West for restricted use.
“As an artiste, I maintain that all art is firmly rooted in meditation – dynamic or silent. Osho’s meditation techniques stem from the ancient lineage of all enlightened masters who have devised different meditation methods that form the global heritage.
“Meditation cannot be monopolized by a few to restrict them for all. Similarly, the words of any mystic – including Osho – cannot be copyrighted – just like one cannot copyright the Bible, the Dhammapada, Gurubani or the Geeta.
The celebrated Hindi poet and Osho lover, Shri Gopaldas Neeraj also issued a strong statement expressing the same sentiment when he visited Osho World Galleria a few days ago.
Poet Neeraj said, “Some people want to transfer Osho from the land of his birth and endeavor to U.S.A. where he was imprisoned and tortured. This is not only immoral but also inhuman. This amounts to a conspiracy to usurp the wisdom of eternal India. It should not only be opposed by the Government of India but by every Indian.”
Widely-read columnist Khuswant Singh asked recently, “How can you catch the sea breeze in a net?
The slogan of true Osho disciples is ‘Osho. Everybody’s Birthright. Nobody’s Copyright.’”