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Editorial from Parmartha

"Things can be copyrighted, thoughts cannot be copyrighted, and certainly meditation cannot be copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace. "Nobody can monopolize anything. But perhaps the West cannot understand the difference between an objective commodity and an inner experience. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has copyrighted transcendental meditation and just underneath in a small circle you will find written TM – that means trademark! For ten thousand years the East has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon meditations. And above all, that transcendental meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation... just a trademark. I have told Neelam to reply to these people, "You don't understand what meditation is. It is nobody's belonging, possession. You cannot have any copyright. Perhaps if your country gives you trademarks and copyrights on things like meditation, then it will be good to have a copyright on stupidity. That will help the whole world to be relieved... Only you will be stupid and nobody else can be stupid; it will be illegal."

From Osho's book: Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanti Chapter 26

Site readers should know there's a very major squabble (July, 2000) (that does not mean very much to many sannyasins) between the "21", a group that Osho formed to continue his work, and many Indian sannyasins (two of whom were formerly in that group). It's really a power struggle, and after all the self-examination of one's own power impulses, however provoked, should be at the bedrock of anyone's real sannyas, and hopefully the final divestment of them. So in a way all those involved maybe missing something if they cannot see the pursuit of any form of power, temporal or spiritual, is the response to personal panic in the face of the terror of inner space.

However the struggle has thrown up a fresh frankness from the '21', and even an attempt to at least argue their case rather than call forth platitudinous imperatives. This can be welcomed. (See items on the Virtual Newsletter on the Friends of Osho web-site.) Also "facts" have emerged in what seems to be a bitter debate, which were hitherto unknown. For example that Anando who Osho it is claimed said was to be his medium after his death, stopped being a "21" member some months ago. This frankness arises in response to a real challenge. Over 550 of Osho centres out of 750 world-wide are in India. Osho is incredibly popular in his own country now he is dead!

Many of the issues seem chimerical and are put up to mask what is in fact a power struggle about who "organises" Osho's continuing work. Surely no-one questions that major publishing house should not pay royalties on Osho's work, and back to any Foundation that furthers that work which seems to be one of the issues. As for the Indian/others split this is a red herring. Osho was and wanted to be a global player and it really does not matter where his headquarters are sited. The Poona Ashram remains magical, but it is a species of paranoia to say that there are intentions to finish with it. Of course it changes, and will change again, from Resort to Ashram to the next thing, and as Osho himself kept changing things there is nothing per se wrong with this. It had, after all, been in aspic for ten years since his death.

Some of the questions from the Indian sannyasins still need answering. If Osho was playing every day on Cable TV in India until two years ago, then this needs looking at, especially if it is a result of some sort of copyright blocking process. The legal prosecution of virtually anyone who uses the name "Osho", or quotes his words, seems very strange policy and should be re-examined - apart from anything else it is virtually unenforceable and makes a laughing stock of the "21".

Osho was determined to reach every "nook and cranny of the known world" and every means should be used to do this. Copyright was certainly not a pre-occupation of Osho, as the above quote from him indicates. If someone wants to start publishing Osho in Chinese in China for example (a very important initiative) every possible free assistance should be given and free access to his words through the Internet etc be automatic. Profits and donations should be used to back this sort of semi-charitable work as a priority. If this sort of loosening up of policy occurs as a result of the present power struggle it will not have been in vain, and in fact, in some roundabout way, may be part of Osho's work it-self. All that needs to happen is for, the vision of those currently in charge, to be broadened and to see the capitalist options, (from which backgrounds most come), are only part of the picture in getting Osho out there to every hamlet and every village in the known world.


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