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Why Osho’s pictures were removed from the Osho Resort in Pune?      Last Updated:01:58:23 AM | Tuesday July 3,2018       Columnist: Michael Gonsalves

‘Dead guy’s pictures put off young people’

There was complete unanimity on building Osho Samadhi among his disciples after Osho’s death. Swami Prem Amrito, the second most powerful member of the Inner Circle, who along with the chairman of Inner Circle Swami Anand Jayesh, was present when Osho died, had announced that Osho himself wanted his samadhi to be built on the premises of his residence.

A teary-eyed Amrito told devotees gathered at the Buddha Hall on January 20, 1990, a day after the godman died, “Osho wanted his ashes to be preserved in an urn in his bedroom which was to be converted into a spectacular samadhi.”

Recounting his conversation with Osho, Amrito said: “He sat on the bed and I asked what we should do for his samadhi. ‘You just put my ashes in Chuang Tzu, under the bed. And then people can come in and meditate there,’ he said.” The samadhi should also be marbled and made beautiful, Osho had instructed.

A marble platform was created at one end of the wall in Chuang Tzu House and the urn with Osho’s ashes was placed inside this platform. A plaque on the platform carried the epitaph dictated by Osho himself: Osho-Never Born, Never Died. Only Visited Planet Earth Between December 11, 1931 and January 19, 1990.

Business interests

All was well till early 2000 when some drastic changes were initiated inside the Osho Commune. In 2002, when Osho’s pictures were removed from the premises of the Commune, D’Arcy O’Byrne, (Swami Anand Yogendra), brother of Swami Anand Jayesh, had told The New York Times that it had been done because “the dead guy’s pictures” were putting off young people coming to the resort.

It was clear that business interests had become paramount as the character, image and identity of the commune were being overhauled and aligned with the international meditation resort tag.

Indian sanyasis were appalled by the removal of the pictures and were even more shocked when they learned that the godman’s picture had also been removed from his samadhi and replaced with a chocolate-coloured bust.

By 2007, the Osho International Meditation Resort managers publicly asserted that designing the Chuang Tzu Auditorium as a ‘samadhi’ had been a “mistake”. Critics of the management team said it is a long-term strategy to break the emotional link the sannyasis had with Osho’s samadhi and sell or lease the Pune property in future.

In short, for 17 years, from 1990 to 2007, they all called it Osho Samadhi but after 2007, suddenly the management said it is not a samadhi.

Michael Gonsalves

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