Sexier still: Osho bosses move on from free sex to free land
Feb 7, 2012
By Abhay Vaidya
Pune: Even 22 years after his death, spiritual mystic Osho, or Bhagwan Rajneesh, continues to spark controversy. This time, the issue is not sex, which always shadowed his name, but something even sexier: the fate of prime real estate belonging to the Osho International Foundation (OIF) at Koregaon Park, Pune, estimated at a value of around Rs 1,000 crore.
In recent weeks, what has grabbed the attention of the public – especially the community of his followers – is the incredulous gifting of prime properties by the OIF to an unknown trust in New Delhi, called the Darshan Trust.
The Osho Commune, renamed Osho International Meditation Resort after his death, is located at Koregaon Park along with other Osho properties spread on 25-30 acres of land and controlled by the OIF.
At a time when politicians, builders, generals and brigadiers are found involved in one land-grab scam after another, here is this extraordinarily generous OIF which seems to be on a property-gifting spree, claiming that maintaining and managing these properties has become a burden.
Opposing them are another set of Osho followers who have accused the OIF trustees of maladministration and complained to the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai.
The matter was exposed in recent months by two, long-time followers of Osho, Yogesh Thakkar (Swami Prem Geet) and Kishor Raval (Swami Prem Anadi), who discovered OIF’s application dated 19 September 2011, to the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai, under section 36(1)(a) of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950.
The battle between factions of his followers is not new. Oshoworld.com
This application, signed by OIF trustee Mukesh Sarda, proposed to gift six units in Little Woods Coop Housing Society, plot number 22, Koregaon Park, to New Delhi-based Darshan Trust with its registered office at A-34, Defence Colony.
Sarda’s application on behalf of OIF said that the Darshan Trust had approached OIF “with a request for some space to accommodate the teachers and participants of its activities in Pune” and that the matter was discussed in detail at a meeting of the trustees on 14 August 2011.
As per documents submitted by the OIF to the Charity Commissioner, Sarda stated at this meeting that the the 6,611-square-foot property was “excess space”, not needed by the OIF. He also said that the OIF was finding it unaffordable to maintain and repair this property as it was not deriving any income from it.
The OIF trustees then decided unanimously at the 14 August meeting to donate the property to Darshan Trust subject to the approval and sanction of the Charity Commissioner. The condition stipulated was that the stamp duty, registration and other expenses towards “the alienation of the property” be borne by Darshan Trust.
Armed with documents obtained under the Right to Information Act, 2005, Thakkar and Raval questioned the gift proposal and filed a petition with the Charity Commissioner, challenging the OIF application. They were soon joined by another senior Osho follower, Nitin Phulphagar (Swami Nitin Bharati), in challenging various activities of the OIF, even as Osho followers within and outside the country began extending support.
While in the midst of this battle, Thakkar and Raval were shocked when they stumbled upon a 17 March 2011 decision of Charity Commissioner MK Chaure approving another OIF proposal to gift plot CTS No 3, Koregaon Park, Pune to the same Darshan Trust.
Measuring 5,387 sq m, this plot is located in Lane No 1 Koregaon Park, and was being used as a parking lot for the Osho Meditation Resort. According to the Osho disciples, the market value of this plot is estimated at more than Rs35 crore.
The reasons given by the OIF for gifting this property (excess space not required) and the conditions laid down for the transaction (Darshan Trust to bear cost of stamp duty, etc.) were similar to the previous application.
The OIF has never felt it necessary to explain these controversial gift deeds or reply to criticism. Whenever asked for an explanation by this journalist, OIF’s trustee and member (management team) Sadhana Belapurkar has restricted herself to saying that “the matter is subjudice.”
Another issue that worries Osho’s followers and admirers concerns his samadhi inside the meditation resort. After he was cremated in Pune on the night of 19 January 1990, Osho’s ashes were collected and put in an urn which was buried in his bedroom. This became his Samadhi, beautified with wall-sized glass windows, marble walls and flooring and an impressive circular chandelier.
The samadhi has a special significance in eastern cultures and naturally Osho’s followers and others want the sanctity of this place respected for all times.
However, the OIF, controlled by a group of his foreign followers, has a different view. Represented by Sadhana Belapurkar (also known as Amrit Sadhana), the OIF management went so far as to say in an interview to this journalist that it was “a mistake” on their part to use the word “samadhi”. As she explained, “We do not call it a samadhi. It is called Chuang Tzu (hall) where Osho gave his first lectures after arriving in Pune in 1974. As per Osho’s wishes, his ashes were put in an urn and buried there.”
Like all samadhis in India, Osho’s admirers who respect him for his many incisive commentaries on spiritualism, his emphasis on meditation and acceptance of sexuality, want the samadhi to be made accessible to the public. That has not happened so far.
These and many other issues were raised by Thakkar and Raval with the Charity Commissioner.
On 7 December 2011, Thakkar, Raval and Phulphagar applied for interim relief to the charity commissioner through an application alleging irregularities by the OIF management. The application alleged that some OIF trustees had formed a new company “Osho Multimedia & Resorts Pvt Ltd” in which they had vested interests. Those named as opponents in the application included Mukesh Kantilal Sarda (Swami Mukesh Bharti), Devendra Singh Devol, Sadhana Belapurkar, Lal Pratap Singh; Inner Circle Chairman Michael Byrne (Swami Jayesh); Inner Circle Vice-Chairman George Meredith alias John Andrews (Swami Amrito); and Inner Circle member Darcy Byrne (Swami Yogendra). (The Inner Circle is an informal group of Osho community individuals who run the show at OIF).
On another front, Thakkar and Raval have created a website www.oshowork.org to gather support for their crusade for transparency in the affairs of the OIF.
This is by far, the biggest battle between the opposing factions of Osho’s followers in recent years. The last big clash was the “copyright battle” which was lost by the OIF some years ago in its attempt to claim intellectual property rights over the word “Osho” and everything attributed to the spiritual master.
India's gurus leave conflict in their wake
Turns out renouncing private property and such has its drawbacks
Jason Overdorf February 3, 2012 05:15
India's renowned gurus -- once controversial for urging their followers to indulge in orgies, or just beg for money at airports -- leave behind a mess when they ascend to the astral plane or whatever it is they do to get out of this place.
Take Osho, a.k.a. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a.k.a. Acharya Rajneesh, a.k.a. Chandra Mohan Jain. My man stirred up some serious trouble when he was part of our reality, especially when he tried to convince mainstream Hindu leaders to be cool about sex. (He also got himself run out of Oregon after some of his followers allegedly tried to poison the townies living near his commune of Rajneeshpuram).
But he's still causing trouble, writes Sudha Ramachandran for the Asia Times Online.
"A longstanding battle over his legacy among members of the Osho commune has escalated in recent months, with a section of followers challenging the transferring of prime land by trustees of the Osho International Foundation (OIF) to a little known trust in Delhi," Ramachandran explains.
"Trustees of the OIF are allegedly in the process of gifting land worth around 350 million rupees (US$7.1 million) in a "dubious manner" to Darshan Trust in New Delhi. "Applications to this end have been filed before the Charity Commissioner in Mumbai," Swami Premgeet, an Osho disciple revealed to the media recently."
Meanwhile, followers of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada -- that's the Hare Krishnas to you -- are also embroiled in a knockdown, dragout legal case in Bangalore. Now that Prabhupada's mass movement has gone semi-corporate, with the formation of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), that is.
"The turf war over land in Bangalore erupted in fisticuffs in June last year when ISKCON members beat each other up in front of the Krishna temple and drowned out the chiming of temple bells and chanting with their abuse and foul language," Ramachandran writes. "India's Supreme Court is expected to give its ruling on that dispute in a fortnight from now. It will decide whether ISKCON Bangalore is a legal entity and has rights over the disputed property. "
Just goes to show that the Catholic church doesn't have a corner on the market for hypocrisy, and America's new age televangelists aren't the only ones with a knack for turning one dollar into ten.
‘Reading Osho is relaxing’
February 4, 2012 By Jesse Randhawa
I usually carry my books on the shoots and currently I am reading The Compassionate Buddha by Anandmurti Gurumaa. It is a book written by my guru. A book that has deeply impacted my life is Walking with a Himalayan Master by Justin O’Brien. It is a book about a spiritual master on his special journey to Himalayas. Though it’s not really a biography; but the book provides beautiful insights into his lifestyle, and his journey in the Himalayas. The book has taught me what life actually is all about.
We have no clue on matters such as why are we born on this earth, what to think and aspire from this life. The book teaches us all that and especially what to focus on and what is really important to us. It provides some very vital lessons to us about human existence.
Over the years, I have read a lot of books by Osho. It is one of the most relaxing activities for me. When I read his books, I feel as if I am talking to a friend. I can pick it up any time of the day and read it irrespective of my mood at that point.
Jesse Randhawa is a model and actor
As told to Surbhi Tandon
Learn the art of loving -
Feb 6, 2012, 01.03PM IST
To love simply means that you feel that something clicks within the two of you, says Osho.
My understanding is that the woman has more capacity to create the atmosphere of caring because she is by nature programmed to be a mother. Every woman should also be a mother to her lover....
Unfortunately, the world has taken it for granted that everyone knows how to love, so no educational system, no university has courses in the art of love. It is very strange that the most important thing is neglected.
Nobody is taught the simple art of love. Because the boy cannot touch the girl, he throws a stone. At least the stone he has touched will touch the girl!
It does not appear clearly to people who don't understand the human mind, that he is touching the girl from a distance because closeness is not allowed; he is taking the air out of her bicycle.... In fact, he wants her to be on his bicycle, but neither does he understand nor does she understand.
The problem is that society is not providing proper guidance for what you should do, and it is one of the most fundamental problems of man's life: his sexuality, his love. Somehow he has to learn how to rise above biology. Biology remains a part - I am not against biology, but biology is very mediocre and ordinary. Some poetry, some music, some dance - and finally, some ice-cream. They are absolutely needed....
Why the chase?
The world has been teaching girls: you should run away and allow the boys to chase you. But don't run away so fast that they lose hope. Run away and then wait. Let them come closer and then run away and wait...finally to be caught.... It is just to give you a sense that you are responsible for whatever happens afterwards. Because the girl was running away, you chased her, you caught her. And in fact the truth is that she is managing it so that you can chase her. She is managing it so that you can catch her. So she remains higher than you and she will remind you again and again, "I was not after you, you were after me."
But there is no need for chasing and being caught. People should be more understanding and approach each other saying, "I have something in my heart that starts dancing when I come close to you. If you also have something of the same, perhaps we can have a few days...." And life is not so long!
Be authentic and say to a man or a woman, "I love you. I like your eyes; I like your face.... That does not mean that I will like everything of you, but I will try to avoid those things. If you have any sensitivity for me, I am available. I don't ask for your totality nor should you ask for my totality."
That's what you are asking: totality. Poor human beings cannot be total; and things go on changing. Today what seems to be great love will not look so great tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow, it will be ordinary repetition and you will start looking here and there for how to have that great totality again.
The great illusion
There is no totality; there is only illusion of totality in life. The man of intelligence understands that life is not perfect and is not meant to be perfect. It is imperfect. We are all imperfect beings. So although there may be nooks and corners which you don't like about a person, there may be things that you do like.... Don't wait for a dream girl. Be more realistic and try to understand that everybody has faults, and to love someone does not mean that you have to change that person. To love that person does not mean that you have to destroy his freedom.
To love simply means that you feel that something clicks within the two of you. As long as that dance within your heart remains, good.
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, courtesy Osho International Foundation, www.osho.com