Shantam reflects on a 1985 Cover Story


For years, I was searching for the 1985 cover story on Osho,  in India´s then best news weekly -  “Illustrated weekly of India.”

For me, this reportage is one of the finest journalistic milestones in an Indian publication. The then Editor of the Illustrated weekly, Pritish Nandy,  went to Oregon to interview Osho.

I still remember how excited I was to see Osho on the cover of the Illustrated weekly. During those days, once a week, I used to go to the Bus-stand book stall,  to inquire about any magazine where any thing about Osho was being published.  I was collecting all such magazines.

Thirty years later, I still remember the happy face of the stall owner when he handed me this copy. I think the price was 5 Rupees at that time.

Other than an Interview with Osho, the most amazing thing was to see a double color spread of a Nude Sheela.
The way Osho was!, the provocative Osho, , he had apparently instructed Sheela to give a nude spread for its shock value. It also shows, what kind of liberal world Osho wished to create. Naturalism I say is part of Osho´s way of life.
I was a 22 years old Sikh disciple who has never seen a naked woman until then. The round perky breasts of the then 35 years old Ma Sheela really left impressions on my psyche. ( Lols)
Now that I have found again the story in its PDF form, Osho´s interview and photo feature will be a fitting tribute to the memory of Rajneeshpuram. The city of a world spirituality,  which died an untimely death because of internal bleeding and outer political pressure.

Here I am,  sharing the link of the Illustrated News article from 1985, ” What is Rajneesh up to.”

30 years later, it is good to contemplate over the then sannyasin lifestyle,  and the dreams and visions which have almost have become part of the history.  The golden past,  which to me has left a fractured present with a bleak future.

Shantam Prem

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29 Responses to Shantam reflects on a 1985 Cover Story

  1. Arpana says:

    A recent photograph of Shantam.

    • shantam prem says:

      One guy in London told to the gathering in Hyde Park, “I have changed my life. I never complain.”
      Then he took few books out from his rucksack and said, “It is due to these books.”

      To hear this, many people who were thinking some change is needed went back home in a contented way. If this guy represent change, we are better as we are.

      From that day onwards, book sales of this guy´s author could not pick up.

  2. shantam prem says:

    To make the article bit more presentable, here I am sending the two main photos.
    If you feel, add them. It is editor´s choice.

  3. shantam prem says:

    photo 2

  4. Kavita says:

    Somehow, whenever I am in the Golden Now, which is quite often these day, the golden past is just a golden memory for me!

  5. Lokesh says:

    I glanced at the article but could not be bothered to read it – just one more person’s take on a situation that can be interpreted in myriad ways, especially so taking into account the writer was an outsider viewing an insider’s movie, which is perhaps why Shantam can relate to the article in such an excited way.

    Shantam confesses, “the most amazing thing was to see a double colour spread of a Nude Sheela.” Something which says more about him than anything else. Sheela was an attractive enough woman in her time, especially when adorned with that most intoxicating of cosmetics…power. I wonder if Shantam would still experience a tingle were he to view Sheela’s exposed breasts 30 years down the line of gravitational pull. I suppose it depends on how sex-starved he actually is…quite, going by the repressed sexual nature of some of his comments here on SN.

    Shantam leaves us with the rather uninspiring conclusion: “The golden past, which to me has left a fractured present with a bleak future.”

    Sounds like existential angst or something like that, and I am quite sure that were Shantam quizzed over what exactly he means when referring to “a fractured present with a bleak future” we would be left none the wiser as to what on earth he is talking about. I suppose he writes that kind of shite imagining that he is being very deep. Well, I suppose he is, like a ruptured subterranean sewage pipe.

    Really, what a load of crap Shantam is capable of coming up with. Take the following: “Naturalism, I say, is part of Osho´s way of life.” How he can draw such a conclusion is anyone’s guess. Of the millions of Osho photos in circulation there is not one of his bare ass. Osho never walked naked in his garden, let alone visited a FKK strand.

    I mean to say, John and Yoko posed naked for the camera, but Osho was unable to go that far, no matter how provocative Shantam imagines Osho was. No, instead he got his secretary to pose naked. Not exactly cause to start a revolution on the streets and remember…the revolution will not be televised.

  6. shantam prem says:

    Every post of a person shows some aspect of the person. In case of Lokesh, it is clear. He is in any form superior than others, including Osho.

    Osho´s woman died untimely out of depression. Lokesh won´t allow such thing to happen to his woman.

    One thing is clear, Osho was not a mind reader, neither the disciples. It was a business relation for mutual benefit. Service provider and the customers.

    Lokesh was one such customer. Seven years of his youth he invested behind an Indian guru and still has not found any group where he can relate and share.

    Just to get a wife for a life, billions of people get everywhere. This hurts. This bleeds.

    • satyadeva says:

      “Seven years of his youth he invested behind an Indian guru and still has not found any group where he can relate and share.

      Just to get a wife for a life, billions of people get everywhere. This hurts. This bleeds.”

      As so often, you’re talking about yourself here, aren’t you, Shantam?

  7. Kavita says:

    When Shantam is in this mode, which, in my observation, he has been at least from the beginning of his SN days, which is nearly seven & half years now, I really wonder if it is possible for science to bring back Osho in his physical form, or maybe the the seven & half year cycle shall enter another cycle! (Btw, I am not into astrology or any such thing but have heard about such occurrence).

  8. frank says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that according to the letter of the law in India, it is still illegal to be naked, even in the privacy of one’s` own home.

    I remember once, I was at Rameswaram temple, one of the 4 holiest places in India, wearing literally only a lungi and there was an enormous gust of wind and the whole thing flew into the air, ‘full monty’-like, and there`s me struggling with an unsuccessful hippy-Marilyn-Munro-over-the-air vent thing as a huge horde of pilgrims came the other way. Some of them laughed but some were well pissed off – I had to get out of town.

    • Parmartha says:

      Thanks, Frank.

      As I recall, this pilgrimage place is on a very small island between Sri Lanka and India, and during the Tamil wars, not so easy to get to. I admire you, you sure got around.

      • frank says:

        Cheers, big P,
        That incident happened quite some years before the civil war started down there, I`m no war tourist. I was catching that old rusted hulk that passed as a ferry from Rameswaram to Sri Lanka (which was only marginally more seaworthy than the Titanic) and was the cheapest way to go back then – ’80, I think.

        I ran into Bom Shankar Baba at Jaffna station. He looked unusually miserable and said, “Sri Lanka no good. Problem people”, and then headed straight for the ferry. I guess he saw it coming.

  9. Parmartha says:

    I am sure, Shantam, you have a good heart, for example your recent meet-up with Lokesh for the first time, sounded moving from both sides.

    The main thing you don’t seem to get is that your present psychological reality is your own, and to be owned. This was one of the first things I learned in Pune 1 – and helped in this through the group psychotherapies then on offer.

    I find it no surpirse to learn that your arch-enemy Swami Amrito says he only ever did three Pune 1 groups, and it sounds like, wrapped up in an English public school disdain, which would have meant their value was much reduced.

    I really don’t know, Shantam, what the psychotherapy groups in the ashram were like after Osho left his body, or whether you did any in Pune 2 or 3. May we know?

    I understand that you felt loved and supported in Pune 3, and amidst a great international commune, and can understand that you miss it. That cannot be regained, even if the ‘power’ in Pune changed hands.

    Maybe a solution is closer to hand. Try a trip to Cologne, and do an Osho Encounter group in the centre there, if such groups still exist. Love.

    • shantam prem says:

      I have read this post just now. Will answer after some sleeping during meditation.

      • shantam prem says:

        Parmartha, if I have a good heart, you also have good heart. If we look at the heart level of average humanity, I think average heart energy among the Osho disciples is on the upper scale level.

        So I won´t say Amrito or his boss chairman Jayesh are my arch-enemies. They are not. I have never thought in this way.
        I am as fair and distanced as a member in the jury. Because other members in the jury must have done encounter kind of groups, my respect for such things is diminished to its bottom low.

        Anyway, do you know something about collective Gibberish meditation being led by Osho himself? I have done this hundreds of times in his presence and for years long in White Robe Brotherhood (for lokesh kind, Brotherhood includes sisters too).
        Also, four times Mystic Rose and No Mind.

        Secondly, I am not a person who follows the instructions of any Tom, Dick, Mary as far as meditations and inner journey is concerned. It means Osho or nothing else.

        As far as therapy is concerned, yesterday I was in my 10th session of psychotherapy. I have allowance of 25 sessions. I was asking the therapist how much she earns from it. In my feeling, 83 Euros for 45 minutes is quite something. If it is not covered by insurance, I would not have thought about it.

  10. prem martyn says:


    Your details in your post in the Caravanserai are appreciated for your straightforward frankness.

    “A man walked into the doctor’s, he said, “I’ve hurt my arm in several places.” The doctor said, “Well, don’t go there any more.” (Tommy Cooper)

    As for Frank, he is work in progress…and not only did he go to Eton, he was also the Prime Minister’s official Chinese/English translator last week at the Finger and Moon pub, where the two leaders were boozing.

    I kid thee not, but tonite as I was passing a Chinese shop in this Majorcan town, I looked up and saw the name in bold (tomorrow I upload photo, promise) surrounded by Chinese writing…and thought of Shantam:


    Anyway, back to Frank…
    Frank, is it true that the reason for this Chingrish warning sign is that the Chinese can’t roll their ‘r’s?

    And for all you spiritual seekers out there…
    Here is one for all players and their entries and exits in life (via a plaque writing shop somewhere in Shanghai)…

    (Just google Chingrish images, if you want a good laugh).

  11. Lokesh says:

    Shantam, I do not find the article interesting for any of the reasons that the journalist who wrote it intended. It is full of inaccuracies and is sensationalist in tone. Osho turning up at a disco to boogie into the small hours? Cyanide pills? That sort of shite. Read a little and that was enough.

    That you find this article in some way inspirational indicates to me that you have a rather confused idea about the whole Osho trip. I had left the scene by the time this article was written, and I have no regrets about that whatsoever. It is all history now and my life is such that I enjoy it and do not spend much time looking back to the past, the present is so much more rewarding than bygone days, no matter how good they once were.

    • shantam prem says:

      For me, the best part of the article is its prose. Journalists are not followers, and what a coincidence, within days of Pritish Nandy´s visit, Noah´s Ark went tatters.

      I have not used the word inspirational. And I don´t like smugs who think they have the clear picture of Osho trip and others are confused.

      Such kind of smugs are the reason in the first place, every effort to turn theory into practice could not bear a single rainy season.

      • Lokesh says:

        Shantam, I don’t feel smug. I feel that anyone who thinks that the article in question is in any way remarkable for either its content or prose must be stupid. It’s a piece of nonsense written for idiots.

        • shantam prem says:

          Ok, you don´t feel smug. The three lines show maybe you are: complacent, egotistical, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, puffed-up, stuck-up, superior.

          What one word can describe a Scottish living in the paradise island Ibiza, who has spent years around top of the league Indian masters and who reads every night some spiritual book?

          Maybe the right word can be – 21st century Seer!

          • Lokesh says:

            Currently taking a break from reading any form of spiritual literature for six months now. Last really good book I read was ‘The Master and Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov. Now that is what I call good prose and a masterful flight of imagination.