Frank and Swami Rockefeller Shanti discuss the struggle for control over the ashram/Resort in Pune.
(N.B: Apologies for poor lay-out, due to Word Press issues)
There is a battle raging for control over the ashram/Resort in Pune.
The proposed sale of 3 acres of the property has sparked the most serious skirmish in what has by now been quite a long war.
The opposition, who in a bizarre twist seem to have given a platform to Sheela and also seek to involve the Indian Government, most notably with their letters to Premier Narendra Modi, are pushing hard to increase their online and real world reach and power. (The impact of Covid seems to have opened a window for this) .
I notice that their network of websites and Youtube channel are putting forward a variety of conspiracy theories about Osho`s death to bolster their claims. Claims of racism are being bandied about, and as mentioned, most bizarrely, anti-Resort campaigners are taking seriously what Sheela says about the very person she once served jailtime for attempting to murder.
All these things are disturbing to anyone with any sense. But a quick glance at history tells us that people famously stop making sense when it comes to being involved with what they percieve as a battle for the heart and soul of their religion (albeit a purportedly religionless one).
The Resort management, on the other hand, say very little. The message from them seems basically: “We are in charge, nothing to see here, move along.” It has to be said that it is undeniable that some of their moves, like the unproven, alleged sad forgery of Osho`s will, have been almost comically inept.
The Inner Circle are unapologetically autocratic. I suspect that `dialogue` is not a word to be found in their management manual.
The `rebels`, on the other hand, reference democratic ideas as an alternative way of running the Resort/ashram, but they don`t seem to create any genuinely democratic structures, even online ones.
In this polarisation I have not come across a single online space where any kind of open discussion about these matters is taking place. As we can see clearly in the outside world, this growing polarisation has a tendency to breed more suspicion, more paranoia and in the worst cases, even violence.
Maybe Sannyas News could act as such a space?
Is there a discussion to be had or is everyone already too well entrenched in their `side`?
And Swami Rockeller Shanti observes:
With the ongoing actions with Osho’s property, there are a few things that I wish to discuss.
Firstly, Osho mentioned that Mahavira knew there was going to be a divide after he left his body: there were already those who stood naked and those who were earlier disciples of Parshvanath, 23rd tirthankara, accepted in the fold by Mahavira and who wore white clothes. He also mention that a disciple’s mind is small, he sees one aspect and refuses another aspect.
What do you think he would have felt about the present opposition between the two different viewpoints?
I can see these viewpoints as one mainly being that Osho left behind a spiritual place, a Buddhafield, to be run as a place of great devotion and enriching material comforts; while the other view states that it is a place for those who have arrived at material comforts and now seek something spiritual in that situation.
Both these views contain some very small minor changes that in reading appear irrelevant, but this difference has come to create misunderstanding once again among Osho’s people, one group claiming that the others seek to destroy the work by what appears to them a completely business-oriented approach while the latter state they’re protecting the work from losing its revolutionary character at the hands of what to them appears a traditional approach.
It is clear that Osho himself is vast in an epic sense so misunderstanding is only natural. Trust could be the key to him.
These are my opinions.
What do you readers think of this whole scenario we witness here?