Home | Articles | Features | Modern Teachers

Listings | Community Noticeboard | Chat Board


Although December 11 marked the 72nd birth anniversary of Rajneesh, the commune, which is now marketing itself as a luxurious "health and meditation resort", decided not to observe this anniversary in any special way. Unlike in previous years, when December 11 was marked by festivity in recognition of their spiritual master's birthday, the commune went on with its day-to-day activities, without a hint that the day was special in any way.

The commune has already removed all pictures of Rajneesh from its premises, in keeping with the new approach of the "management team" that it does not want to turn Osho into an object of worship.

"December 11 is no longer special for us. We have to forget the significance of December 11 and celebrate all through the 365 days of the year. Osho never wanted us to make a religion out of him, or worship him as a cult figure," Amrit Sadhana, a member of the commune's "management team" told the Tiimes.

Sadhana, Osho's disciple for many decades, acknowledged that in the past the commune used to celebrate December 11 by inviting guest artists and singers, organising a party and holding sannyas celebrations."

Citing numerous extracts from Osho's discourses, Sadhana, who has dropped the prefix "Ma" from her name, said that Osho always emphasised that "every day is a celebration" and added: "Osho never wanted us to worship him." Explaining the changing trends at the commune, she said, "Osho always said, 'Please forgive me and forget me. Don't worship me'," What the commune was doing "needs courage" because it was breaking established traditions, she added.

Moreover, Sadhana claims, the new generation of visitors to the commune is not interested in the past. "They come here for shorter stays. Everything is so fluid and mobile today. Our effort is to make Osho more scientific, more contemporary."
However a rival faction of Osho disciples, who have made Delhi their headquarters, describes these explanations as the "spin" doctored by the commune authorities to promote the commune as a resort. This faction, which celebrated Osho's birth anniversary, has described the changes at the commune as "de-Oshoinsation". According to Swami Chaitanya Keerti, one of the most outspoken critics of the commune, "Anything that smacks of spirituality is being slowly and systematically erased or eliminated by the resort management. In the name of modernity, everything must look or appear Western, not Indian or Eastern."