Osho International Foundation’s Tunnel Vision

Letters / Opinions

Keerti voices his concern and opinion about the attempted sale of the Basho Pond plots by the trustees of the OSHO International Meditation Resort.

Tunnel vision

In their recent rejoinder about the ongoing issue of the sale of Osho Basho, the Osho International Foundation said something quite strange which undermines Osho’s multi-dimensional vision of meditation, love, and devotion, as shared by Osho with the world, speaking on various mystics such as Krishna, Jesus, Mohammad, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Meera, Rabiya, Daya-Sahajo, and so many Sufi and Hassid mystics.

In a letter to the Governor of Maharashtra, Mukesh Sarda writes as one of OIF’s Trustees: “The Osho International Meditation Resort is an educational foundation and is not a place for pujas. The development control rules of Koregaon Park would never allow a puja facility, and in any case, this would be totally contrary to Osho’s guidance.”

Osho has always maintained that for sannyasins working in any of his communes work is real worship, for which the Hindi word is puja. We sannyasins do not engage in any other kind of puja such as incense burning in front of an idol. Often, when we communicated which each other, we’d ask, “What worship do you do?” – and another sannyasin would respond, “I’m chopping vegetables,” meaning that this was their worship at the moment. Or some sannyasin worker would ask the other, “What is your work-meditation?” – and he would get the answer, “Presently, it is guarding,” or “Washing dishes is my work-meditation.”

This word puja is now being condemned by OIF after hiring paid workers from the Sodexo company for work needed by the Resort.

In reply to the protest petition presented by nine of Osho’s disciples to the Governor of Maharashtra, the Osho International Foundation (OIF) spokesperson says: “These are not the plots where the main activities of meditation take place.”

This is really a shameful statement because all what OIF did during all these years was to use this Basho area with swimming pool and ‘Zennis’ court to attract people from around the world.

OIF says that because of Covid, international tourists are not coming and the Meditation Resort does not get funds to run the place. So, according to their own logic, if later this year or next year, when Covid 19 is under control and the Meditation Resort opens again after the main attraction, Basho, has already been sold off, will the international tourists of their choice bother to come? They most likely won’t come since OIF had only been attracting international tourists because of those facilities which no other ashram in the world has, and they were also boasting that Basho Resort was established according to the vision of the Master for the New Man, Zorba the Buddha.

Now, what has happened to the New Man and what happened to Zorba the Buddha? Will it be only Buddha without Zorba henceforth?

Mukesh Sarda writes further: “We are in effect a meditation school that uses the techniques from India’s meditation heritage and also some new meditation techniques that Osho has created for the contemporary person.”

He forgot to mention that we are mainly a ‘mystery school’, a term used by Osho repeatedly in many of his discourses:

Osho says: “My beloved ones…

“You are blessed to be here today, because we are starting a new series of talks between the master and the disciple. It is not only a birth of a new book, it is also a declaration of a new phase. Today, this moment: 7:00 pm, Saturday, the sixteenth of August of the year 1986 — one day this moment will be remembered as a historical moment, and you are blessed because you are participating in it. You are creating it; without you, it cannot happen.

“Books can be written, can be dictated to a machine, but what I am going to start is totally different. It is an Upanishad. Long forgotten, one of the most beautiful words in any language, a very living word, Upanishad means sitting at the feet of the master. It says nothing more: just to be in the presence of the master, just to allow him to take you in, in his own light, in his own blissfulness, in his own world. And that’s exactly the work of a mystery school.”
The Osho Upanishad, Ch 1

In the letter it is also stated that the meditation resort is “a meditation school that uses the techniques from India’s meditation heritage and also some new meditation techniques that Osho has created for the contemporary person.”

Here, the most significant question to ask: Is the contribution of Osho, the enlightened mystic (in the words of OIF, Osho is a teacher and an author for the western market) merely meditation techniques? What about his thousands of discourses on Krishna’s Bhagwad Gita, Songs of Meera and Kabir, Ek Omkar Satnam of Guru Nanak dev, Songs of Sahajo and Daya Bai, Narad Bhakti Sutra, Shandilya’s Athato Bhakti Jigyasa, Adi Shankaracharya’s Bhaj Govindam – from Ashtavakra to Zarathustra – which are not merely about meditation methods but monumental insights into the work and teachings of those masters of India’s heritage.

Did Osho waste his years giving commentaries on all the other mystics who have not spoken about any methods of meditation?

I suggest to OIF: Please do some homework before replying and do not confine Osho to your tunnel vision.

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Keerti facilitates Osho meditation retreats all over the world and is the author of various articles and spiritual books, his latest being Mindfulness: The Master Keyfacebook.com

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