Police are urged to ensure the rebels are allowed to wear Osho’s ‘mala’ while taking part in the celebrations on March 21. Published in the Indian Express, March 12, 2023.
As Osho lovers will be assembling in Pune to celebrate the spiritual leader’s 70th “Enlightenment Day” on March 21, a rebel group of devotees has sought police support for taking part in the celebrations.
In a press release, Swami Chaitanya Keerti, one of the rebel Oshoites, said, “For the past 23 years, the Osho Ashram management has not been celebrating Osho’s birthday on 11 December, Osho’s Punyatithi 19 January, Osho’s Enlightenment Day on March 21, and Osho Full Moon (Guru Purnima in July). It has been celebrating only the monsoon festival in August and the New Year festival regularly. And about 500-700 people were attending. This year’s Osho Enlightenment Day celebration in Pune will bring together three or four times more people (1,500-2,100, or even more) than any monsoon festival.”
Swami Keerti said a large number of people would not be coming for the Bollywood music festival – but for their own sannyasin-style celebration, as they have been doing during the days of Osho’s physical presence. “And they will not be coming to celebrate the Osho brand, product or commodity, but Osho as their beloved master,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a letter to the Koregaon police station, Swami Keerti said, “Together with so many disciples I had come to attend Osho’s Punyatithi on 19 January this year in Pune. All of us sought your support to visit Osho’s samadhi in the ashram for meditation. But none of us could go in because the ashram trustees did not allow us as we were wearing Osho’s ‘mala’. The ashram trustees had put this condition that we should hide the ‘mala’ that we had received from our beloved Sadguru Osho at the time of our initiation into Osho’s NeoSannyas.
“All Osho lovers have been deeply disappointed with the trustees and decided that they would not remove or hide the ‘mala’ given to them by Osho, as this ‘mala’ is a sacred bond between the master and his disciples. Osho had given the freedom to wear or not to wear the ‘mala’. Osho had never ever appointed any priest to dictate such things to his disciples.”
Swami Keerti said, “I have been with Osho since the day of my initiation on September 4, 1971. I have edited many of his books in Hindi and English. I am the founding editor of the Rajneesh Foundation newsletter published in Pune since 1974. I have been editor of the Osho Times International and Osho Darshan and, since 2001, I have been editor of the Osho World Patrika monthly published by the Osho World Foundation, New Delhi.
“I take this opportunity to request your police station once again – on behalf of hundreds of Osho sannyasins who will come to Pune to celebrate Osho’s Enlightenment Day on 21st March this year – to assist them in their constitutional freedom of the individual to wear their sacred ‘mala’ – at least on such sacred days dedicated to our beloved master. You are there to protect the constitutional rights of the individuals of this country… Until now, the Koregaon Park police have not been helpful in the protection of our constitutional and human rights. But I keep hoping against hope and someday the police will realise that the weaker group of individuals will be given necessary protection against the mighty management. Osho devotees will visit Pune once again on March 21 to celebrate Osho’s 70th Enlightenment Day and would like to visit Osho Samadhi for silent meditation.”
Asked about the allegations, a spokesperson for the Osho International Meditation Resort said, “Our management members will discuss them and then comment.”