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Bytes from the Editor 

News and Gossip from Swami Anand Parmartha

Further Bytes late December, 2000

Copyright Wars

Osho World Foundation, Delhi, using the latest internet based MP3 audio technology has recently published a CD of Osho's commentaries on the Bhagwad Gita. This is likely to fuel the fire of the so-called copyright wars that surround Osho's words, as by so doing the Delhi foundation take on the "official" publishers, Osho International Foundation based in New York. The Delhi Foundation's spokesman , Swami Keerti, says that the entire current collection of Osho's discourses (2,000 in all) in digitised form are available to his Foundation and he intends to release the lot on MP3 over time on to the Internet.

MP3 enables the compression of complex sound files into manageable files on the Internet and consequently allows their easy uploading and downloading. Keerti stated that Osho "instructed us to spread his message and not make profit from his books, audio and video recordings. We plan to do precisely that".

Sannyasnews think that it is unlikely that Keerti's challenge on copyright will be challenged in India, simply because of Osho's now almost national hero reputation within India. For example the Minister for Law attended as guest of honour the last Osho birthday gathering in Delhi's Osho world. With local allies like this one cannot imagine Osho Foundation International challenging the matter in Indian Courts.


Osho is the One...and only?

There is a good section in the last Viha connection magazine (November/December, 2000) about sannyasins who involve themselves with other teachers, especially teachers from the sannyas lineage, but still consider themselves sannyasins. Viha tries manfully to try and cover the whole spectrum of sannyas without upsetting anyone. A pretty difficult commission. None the less it is worth a subscription as perhaps the only publication in the sannyas world at the moment attempting some real journalism.

Several writers tell of their experiences, and in particular Swami Hasib's story had resonance. He tells of sitting with Baba, Kiran, Cuckoo, and Tyohar, all Osho sannyasins who claim enlightenment, and in a sense continuing to find Osho through them.

Osho courted paradox in all of his written words deliberately. Sometimes he used to say that he would be easier to access when he was no longer in the body, at others that one just had to find a living master! One thing is for sure he certainly did not want anyone to take his 'word' for what to do! There can be no greater invitation to think for oneself than the double-bind of contradiction! Maybe Hasib has done just that.


The Complete Autobiography

Sannyasnews has come across a great new web-site that seems to carry about 1500 pages of downloadable (for free) material of Osho talking about his own life, some of it from the 'Hindi Canon'.

It's a great treasure, and hopefully readers can put the word round. It's research is obviously very through and deserves attention. It is by far and away the "definitive" life from Osho's own lips. A great read for any sannyasin, as it contains material about his life before he became a public figure, often described in a very intimate and fetching way. Give it a reel, on http://pages.unisonfree.net/otto201/


Petition to the National Human Rights Commission (India) by leading Sannyasins

Sannyasins excluded from the Poona Ashram have taken their case to the Indian National Rights Commission (December 11th, 2000). In a letter to the NHRC Chairman J.S. Verma, Swami Keerti, one of those excluded by the Ashram, explained that he and several leading figures in the sannyas world were barred from the Ashram after protesting in the media against the control of Osho's works by the Osho International Foundation which operates from New York, in what appears to be a commercial publishing enterprise. Sannyasnews will keep readers abreast of the result of the petition.


Official Enquiry into Osho's Death?

A Swami Utsav, a Koregaon Park resident, has written to the State Home Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal requesting an official enquiry into Osho's death. Utsav presents evidence from various written accounts of interviews, etc of various witnesses to the day's events of January 19th, 1990, which conflict with each other. Ma Anando, Osho's Secretary at the time, says that Osho left his body at late lunchtime(IST), in an article in the Hindi Osho times International from 1995, and was told so by Jayesh mid- afternoon of January 19th. Amrito, Osho's Doctor, said later, when he publicly spoke to sannyasins in Buddha Hall that Osho died around 5.00pm (IST). Meanwhile someone received a call at the Ko Hsuan School in England at around 10.00am GMT(3.30pm IST) from Poona saying that Osho had died. Utsav thinks that the timing of Osho's death was "doctored" for some inexplicable reason.

Whose to say, but in such an atmosphere of incredible shock and maybe panic, maybe time itself stood still for those so closely involved. Maybe also, there is some point in the view that it does not really matter, as one visitor said to me, who cares?