December 11, 2000
B B Nagpal in New Delhi
Disciples of Osho petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against their being denied entry to the Osho Ashram in Pune, which is allegedly ”remote-controlled from New York by half-a-dozen self-appointed owners”, even as the week-long celebrations concluded with his birthday Monday.
In a letter to NHRC chairman justice J S Verma, Osho sanyasin, Swami Chaitanya Keerti said several prominent sanyasins had been barred by the management in the ashram because they protested in the media against the control of Osho’s works by the Osho International Foundation based in Zurich, which operates from New York.
Those barred include Osho’s secretary in India Ma Yoga Neelam and her daughter Ma Deva Priya, Swami Anand Tathagat, Swami Vedant Bharti and his wife Ma Archana, Swami Vairagya Amrit, Ma Dhyan Shakti, and Swami Keerti.
In the petition sent to coincide with Human Rights Day, Swami Keerti said he had been Osho’s disciple since 1971 and had been living and working in Pune since the ashram was established there. Osho had assigned him the task of publishing and editing his books and spreading his message through the media, but he had been barred from the ashram since July this year.
After his return from a world tour, Osho had settled in India in July 1986 and made Pune the centre of his international work in January 1987 till he ‘left his body’ in January 1990.
The Zurich-based foundation had also lost a case in the National Arbitration Forum in the United States when trying to prevent Indian disciples from operating the website www.oshoworld.com. The federation also claims it owns the copyright to all the discourses of Osho.
The celebrations were inaugurated by former Lok Sabha speaker Shivraj Patil at the Osho World in south Delhi on the theme of ‘Raso Vai Sah’. The seers of the Upanishads have described the ultimate reality as ‘Raso Vai Sah’ – ‘existence pulsates with bliss’. A major highlight of the week-long festivities was a performance by Padma Bhushan danseuse Sonal Mansingh to interpret this theme of Raso Vai Sah in dance, and Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley was the chief guest.
The week began with a photo exhibition – Faces of Enlightenment – at Osho World Galleria in Ansal Plaza in south Delhi. This is a collection of rare black and white and colour photographs of Osho’s early years as a spiritual leader in the late sixties and the seventies clicked by one of his earliest disciples, Swami Chaitanya Bharti, who was one of Osho’s first sanyasins from 1970 and was Osho’s photographer from 1969 to 1974.