Eleven years after he passed away, the rebel Osho's popularity continues to grow. But what is his enduring contribution and what will be the fate of his legacy, with the Pune Commune trying to transcend him and some prominent followers breaking away?
Osho in the marketplace
Satish Nanda aka Swami Satish Satyarthi is one Osho lover who lives his master's teachings. His personal life, his spiritual pursuits and his business are all one seamless whole. ''Spirituality does not fall off when you are at work or business,'' he says.
Nanda is as keen to take off for an Osho meditation camp as he is to organize one for his employees at Heritage in Delhi's (India) upmarket South Extension market. Each item in his store, each display, even communication with his regular clients is stamped with his distinctive style—classy, meditative, understated, loving—which makes visitors to the emporium feel welcome and valued.
Osho's greatest contribution, believes Nanda, has been to make us realize that life is full of beauty, grace, splendor, height. Once you get acquainted with the truth, you can experience death lovingly. But we don't live like this, which made Osho comment: ''I sell mirrors in the city of the blind.''
In the next 50-100 years, Nanda is confident, the world will be full of Oshoites and Osho's teachings will be followed in toto. This is because with technological advancement, living will progressively become mundane and monotonous, mere fiddling around with plastic buttons. This will prove to be suicidal for human race, and so, make way for a new era.
Nanda doesn't agree that the recent controversial developments at the Osho Commune in Pune will have much negative impact: ''There are many like me who have loved Osho, and feel connected to him. Wherever they are, Osho is.'' He adds poetically: ''No matter how or where you slice a piece of misri (crystal sugar), what you get is still misri.''
''The western mind,'' he continues, ''cannot comprehend the guru phenomenon. In India, for thousands of years, yogis have worked on themselves for salvation through the guru-shishya (master-disciple) tradition.'' He is, of course, alluding to the rumored existence of a foreign cabal trying to control Osho's legacy. He adds: ''who wants control? Those who are not powerful.''
Osho's work, Nanda points out, continues outside the Pune Commune too. There are communes in Dharamsala, Kathmandu, Piparia...Osho Dham has recently come up on 15 acres of land near Najafgarh in Delhi, India. Camps are held, sanyas initiation given as before. Nanda has just returned from a three-day camp at Pithoragarh in Uttaranchal, India that was led by Swami Narendra Bodhisattva and attended by 80-90 people,of whom 28 took sannyas diksha, initiation.
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