“Following a writ petition submitted by Osho’s disciples, the high court ruled on August 11 that they will be allowed to visit the samadhi at Osho Ashram in Pune’s Koregaon Park,” writes Manoj Dattatrye in The Indian Express on August 21, 2022.
Armed with a copy of a Bombay High Court order, a group of disciples of controversial spiritual leader Osho will try to enter the Osho Ashram at Koregaon Park in Pune on Sunday. After a group of disciples petitioned the high court complaining that they were not being allowed to enter the Osho Samadhi by the ashram administration, the court, in its ruling dated August 11, allowed the petitioners to visit the samadhi which is located inside the ashram.
“A group of Osho disciples will be entering the Osho Ashram around 1 pm today. This is because the Bombay High Court has given us permission to enter the Osho Ashram in its order dated August 11. We received a copy of the order two days back,” said Yogesh Thakkar, a disciple who had filed the writ petition on behalf of Osho lovers before the Bombay High Court in connection with the alienation of the property of the trust which looks after the Osho Ashram.
“Neither the respondents nor any party shall alienate or create any third-party interest in respect of the movable or immovable property of the trust without following due process of law. It is also made clear that there is no prohibition for the petitioners or devotees to visit the Samadhi. The directions are also given to protect the Osho Samadhi. The petitioners or devotees certainly can visit the Osho Samadhi,” the high court said in its order.
“It is open for the petitioners to bring it to the notice of the committee conducting an inquiry, any other factual matrix including the properties of the trust, so as to include in Schedule-I, which can certainly be considered by the committee and also the joint charity commissioner,” it added.
Meanwhile, Ma Amrit Sadhana, spokesperson for the Osho Meditation Resort, said, “We have so far not received the high court order. If they (disciples) produce a copy of such an order, we will allow them to visit the samadhi.”
Regarding allegations by the disciples that they were not allowed entry, the spokesperson said they had banned some people because they had indulged in activities against the interest of the Osho Meditation Resort.
Thakkar added that the court has allowed them to enter without paying any entry fee. “The court has clearly said that there is no economical prohibition to our visit to the Samadhi,” he said. The petitioner said they will take the help of the Koregaon Park police to gain entry into the ashram. “We have already submitted a copy of the order to the Koregaon police station and are expecting them to help us in the matter,” he said.
When asked about the matter, police inspector Vinayak Vetal said it is between the disciples and the ashram. “We have no role to play. If the ashram denies them entry, they can again approach the Bombay High Court,” he said.
Thakkar said that not allowing them to enter would amount to contempt of court. “We would certainly approach the high court again,” he said.
Speaking about the issue, Swami Chaitanya Keerti, an ex-trustee of Osho Ashram, said, ”Last month, Osho lovers from different parts of India gathered in Pune to celebrate Guru Purnima and be at Osho’s Samadhi. The management of Osho International Foundation (OIF) denied entry to many ‘banned’ disciples, but later, after the intervention of the police, allowed them in for 10 minutes.”
“A month later, the ashram management decided to celebrate the Monsoon Festival from August 11 to 15. While Osho centres across the world celebrate Osho’s birthday and Guru Purnima, they are not celebrated at Osho’s Ashram in Pune where Osho lived for more than ten years and left his body. It is a sad irony that all festivals related to Osho have been banned, but New Year and Monsoon festivals are celebrated with fanfare. The standard line maintained by the OIF is that Osho was opposed to customs and traditions,” he added.