Indian Express: Pune Newsline : November 27, 2000
BY VINITA DESHMUKH
While the copyrights issue is lying low at the moment, with prominent and die-hard rebels like Swami Chaitanya Keerti, former Osho Commune spokesperson, Swami Tathagat, former administration-in-charge and Ma Yoga Neelam, former Osho’s secretary for India presently keeping mum, (they come once in a blue moon to take up cudgels for the big community of disgruntled sannyasins and then disappear) here’s a different controversy that might make Osho turn in his grave. Pardon me for this statement since according to Oshoites, he is said to have never been born, never died – only visited the Planet Earth. But then, if that is the case, how come the Osho Commune celebrates Osho’s birth and death anniversary? Well, let them settle this ambiguity and let me get down to the brasstacks.
This time the embroilgo, which might stir the hornet’s nest in time to come, is not in the cold, printed word, that is the newspapers, but instead, it is staring at you in your face, in the hip, hep happening world of cyberspace.? Yes, welcome to the website, ‘Sannyas.net’ and hey presto, can you believe it the curious chapter of the timing of Osho’s death, sorry, ‘leaving his body’ has been ressurected, thanks to a die-hard Osho disciple as well as a die-hard Puneite, who cannot sit still until truth is revealed. He is W.M Deshpande alias Swami Anand Utsav, who has been an Oshoite for the last two decades or more and is still upset over the Inner Circle’s apparent intrigue in announcing the timing of Osho’s ‘leaving the body.’
When you open the website, `Sannyas.net’ and click on Pune pages and further click on News and Gossip, you see a letter by Deshpande (dated November 25), addressed to Swami Amrito alias George Meredith, a British disciple, who was Osho’s personal physician and was with him, from the 1970s till he breathed his last. In fact, he was the one who had given an emotional speech at the Gautama, the Buddha Hall, the next day after Osho passed away, to the sannyasin crowd, stating that Osho, before he left his body had stated to Swami Jayesh, alias Michael O’Bryne, who is now the key person of the Inner Circle, “I leave you my dreams.”
Deshpande in his posting to Swami Amrito states: “A controversy is being raised on Mitra’s web site `Poona Gossip’ over the time of the day when Osho left his body. I was physically present, doing worship in the Commune during that period and you would have noticed or what is more likely been told that I was a keen observer. I always first brought to the notice of concerned authorities anything seriously wrong. If they did not take suitable action, I went to the press. Once, during my Buddha to Buddha half-yearly meeting – prevalent then, I was asked why I wanted to come to the Commune. The person said “You come. You do not like something and immediately go to the press.” I was able to convince that person that it was not so, and that was how I was able to continue my entry pass. It was denied after Neelam and Tathagat were banned. I had nothing to do with them nor was I ever close to them. But the authorities (I used this expression deliberately because that is how they all behave – Vatayana in particular, reminded me of a Major General in operation).
“The controversy started with Suvarna innocently mentioning, that the news was received by her during school deep cleaning operation starting at 8 am GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) (I add here, she was in London at that time) after breakfast and finished at 10 am GMT after which the children have the temptation of receiving yummy jam doughnuts which could not be delayed. That fixes the time for Osho leaving the body before 10 am GMT – 3.30 pm. IST (I add, Indian Standard Time).
“Your own statement which I heard myself on the evening of January 20, 1990 in the Buddha Hall, you said ‘Right from morning, Osho’s pulse was weak and slightly irregular’ and that he was ‘dying.’
“He talked to you regarding his samadhi and the distribution of a few of his personal things. Then with his consent you called Jayesh and he gave you too his last message, stating that he was leaving his dreams to Jayesh and that Anando would be his messenger. He immediately corrected himself and said that medium would be a better word. “He laid back quietly his pulse slowly fading, and you said ‘Osho, I think this is it.’ `He just nodded gently and closed his eyes for the last time.’
“I think you owe us a clarification, because your statement gives the impression that Osho left his body in the morning; you and Jayesh for some very good reasons held up the news for a long time, till you told it to us in a slightly modified form that Osho left his body at 5 pm, although some close to you came to know of the news at 3.30 pm and telephoned Suvarna in Britain.
“All sorts of interpretations are being made of your role in the affair, and an explaination from you will go a long way.”
“Regards & love
“Sw.Anand Utsav (Legal W.M Deshpande)”
Guess what Swami Amrito purpotedly replied to that? “I do not care to this accusatory interrogation. I am what I am. I did what I did. The truth is the truth. So off to my Martini I go…Sannyasins can be such twits.” Now, now, is this intriguing time of Osho’s death, coming kicking and alive after near 10 years? Or will it be comfortably buried?