A new first: Jabalpur marks Osho’s birthday with an international festival


Kul Bhushan reports about Osho Mahotsav, a festival which is being held from 11 to 13 December in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India, where Osho lived for 21 years.

Poster for Osho Mahotsav in Jabalpur 11-13 December 2019
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Sponsored by a state government for the first time, the festival promises star attractions to draw thousands of Osho lovers and the general public from India and abroad. This event will have a grand inauguration by VIPs and Osho’s sannyasins. Every morning will be devoted to speeches and discussions on Osho and his vision by noted scholars, professors and thinkers.

The star attraction on Day One, Osho’s birthday on December 11th, is Shiv Mani, a top-class drummer who spellbinds everyone with his brilliant mastery on the drumset. A Hindi poetry symposium with a galaxy of famous poets who usually have their audiences in ripples of laughter will be the climax for this day.

Day Two highlights movie personalities. Osho’s disciple, Kamlesh Pandey, a professional adman and award-winning scriptwriter, will regale the audience with his experiences of his four decades-long journey with his master. Famous movie director Subash Ghai will host a film festival for that evening. The climax will be renowned ‘ghazal’ singer Rekha Bharadwaj who will sing musical compositions.

Day Three is devoted to Osho’s books. Ma Sadhana from Osho International Resort will talk about new books based on Osho’s discourses and launch a few titles.

maulshree treeThis Jabalpur event will boost tourism with thousands of visitors coming to see the Osho’s landmarks: the Maulshree Tree in Bhawal Thal Park where Osho became enlightened on March 21, 1953, the Marble Rocks near the city which he loved to see on full moon nights, the colleges where he studied and taught, the homes where he stayed.

Some Osho lovers have suggested that the city be renamed Osho City; others want Osho landmarks re-named in his name. It may not be possible right now but Jabalpur will certainly make news on the tourism circuit and spiritual circles.

Osho at Marble RocksHowever, there are also those who are saying, “I feel sad. Osho was not for any established religion. But, if a city is given Osho’s name, the seed will be sown to make him a Baba. The masses will visit it as a place of pilgrimage and not go deeper into meditation. Osho does not need recognition by any state or country or UNO.”

But, just as Ram and Krishna have their places of birth, Buddha has his place of enlightenment, so has Osho. And, it should be hailed as such. This festival, if held annually, will remind people about Osho’s vision and meditations.

The state government said, “This message is to welcome all Osho lovers and spiritual seekers to come in masses in support of spirituality for a happy living… Let’s celebrate it together.”

Yes, celebrate, meditate. Just what Osho prescribed: “When you celebrate, the whole existence participates with you. In celebration do we meet the ultimate, the eternal. Only in celebration do we go beyond the circle of birth and death.” (I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here, Ch 4)

Kul Bhushan

Anand Kul Bhushan is a writer, journalist, UN media consultant and workshop/meditation leader.

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