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From the Indian Express:


Hey, where’s that nose-in-the-air attitude gone, I wonder? And where has the clear demarcation gone, around the swanky Olympic-sized pool, the tennis court and the plush gym, collectively termed Club Med, which were reserved exclusively for international visitors. What compelled the Ashram people to open these luxuries to all? Perhaps, when the market is down, everyone wisens up.!

The new motto seems to be: forget enlightenment, concentrate on entertainment! The jazzed up ashram is in synch with the requirements of the younger lot. The nightlife here, after the Osho Whiterobe Brotherhood (the discourses held between 6.45 and 8.45 pm), is one big bash!

There’s a happening party on at the Multiversity Welcome Centre, a stone’s throw from Osho’s samadhi, a silent zone. Sannyasins in their going-out best, from hipsters to skirts, dance wildly to Sukhbir Singh’s Aja nachale and popular English numbers, as well as techno.

What happened to the original music composed by sannyasins and the live renditions that once made this place unique? A poster urges people to join the jump-into-the-swimming-pool party after twilight, the next night. To entice more visitors, there’s The Wellness Weekend Getaway (on any weekend from April to August) which, for Rs 7,500, gives a couple two nights and three days at the Osho Guesthouse (the hotel in the new building). The package includes the goodness and madness of meditation techniques and yes, even meditation therapies that were, until now, reserved exclusively for international visitors.

I was a part of that last month, and boy, is it invigorating, specially the psychic healing massage by the beautiful German lady Oma. And you take home a maroon and white robe, complimentary.

‘‘All the activities on campus are designed to help you gain a taste of a radically new approach of bringing awareness to your daily life,” the brochure reads. “The main activities are the meditations in Osho Auditorium, the Multiversity programme, the Work-as-Meditation programme, the evening meditation meeting — the Osho White Robe Brotherhood — and last, but not the least, the night-life!’’

So, for two nights and three days, you are promised a rollicking time. What you want to do is your choice — meditate, partake of the therapies and massages or simply hang loose.

The biggest surprise is the opening up of the meditation therapies. The ‘New Woman’ therapy, designed to bring out the best of womanhood in terms of femininity and confidence, is a day-long session where you again begin by dancing and are introduced to it thus: ‘‘Your body has been used or misused by men...’’ This session promises to make you aware of your beauty as a woman, by throwing up all suppressed emotional garbage.

Yet Osho, the most volatile spiritual mystic of the 20th century and the nucleus of the ashram, has all but vanished! There’s no sign of his omnipresence anywhere —previously the visitor was assaulted by the huge photographs dotting every corner of the commune.

The Inner Circle always ensured that its front-office team waxed eloquent about Osho. Instead, Osho is now just a passing mention in the three-hour orientation, during a reference to meditation techniques.

But wait, more has happened ever since the luxurious 1,20,000 sq ft New Osho Auditorium, comprising a state-of-the-art meditation hall, hotel and kitchen sprung up in a magnificent pyramid bang in front of the Osho Commune International. The latter still exists, but has, sadly, lost its prominence.

At last, one sees Osho live, through a video during the Whiterobe Brotherhood session, where you get an amazing glimpse of one of his lectures held at the original Gautama, the Buddha Hall, which is now being used for martial arts.

The swanky new meditation hall measuring 18,000 sq ft has about 300 sannyasins against its capacity of 5,000 and here you see Osho, talking to a packed audience, against the sparse one present. His magnetic personality continues to mesmerise you and his words sound musical.

And then you wonder why, Osho, the very inspiration of this place, has been sidelined.?
Vinita Deshmukh.