Neelam's Open Letter, July 2000

This page is part of the historical background relating to "What Is an Osho?", a slick, sannyas-paradigm-shifting policy paper written by Amrito and circulated in 1998. A deconstruction of Amrito's paper is presented on this site, introduced here.

Some of the material in the letter below is recycled from talks Neelam gave to the press some three weeks previously, just before she was refused entry to Osho Commune Resort, and about a year after she left the
Inner Circle. After all the reactions, including press articles covering those from Sarjano and Sahajanand,  Neelam gathered her thoughts and wrote this widely circulated open letter to Jayesh, Amrito and Anando, on Jul 11, 2000. "Pay one million Rupees to publish your so-called facts" refers to full-page ads taken in all the major Indian dailies to challenge Neelam's statements and attack her personally. The ad apparently included personal slags from Anando and Shunyo, among others.

This
open letter is the only known word to have emerged documenting anything about the workings of the
manangement team responsible for Osho's legacy.

Beloved Friends,

During the last few weeks, the media has been talking about the issues that concern the whole sannyas community around the world. It's sad to see how instead of intelligently dealing with the serious questions and real concerns of the sannyasins, you are trying to distract their attention by attacking me, using defamatory language, presenting lies in the name of facts. No matter how many letters and circulars you send to the centers, pay one million Rupees to publish your so-called facts in the big national newspapers, in several editions, to say that in the last year in His body "Osho dropped her", "He never saw her at all in his room", "He never mentioned her" - so on and so forth. This is not going to wipe out the fact.

The fact will remain the fact and I do not need your stamp on it, that I met him many times and He kept on showering His love on me.

During July 89 festival, when I went to get the books signed by Osho to give gifts to the artists, I asked Him, "How is your body?" He looked at me so lovingly and replied, "Your joy helps me to linger a little more in the body". Few weeks before He left his body, He told Shunyo, "Neelam looks so peaceful and happy!" (this has been mentioned in her book too). Instead of dropping me as you would like people to believe, the fact remains that Osho left me as the member of the inner circle, as His secretary for India. Besides on 23 Dec, '89 he created the Presidium and once again He chose me as "East West Connection". And Jayesh, you declared this in the presence of all the members of the inner circle in the Krishna House front office. In the same context, Anando, I would also like to remind you that in the month of December, 1989 on his drive back from Buddha Hall, Osho asked you to call me. We drove back with him. He said to me, "What about including Zareen in the inner circle?". I can go on and on to revive your memory, but I would rather like to come to the real issues.

In one of the press interviews I have called you 'three dictators' and I mean it. I am referring to the arrogance, disrespect and dishonesty displayed by you three over these years.

Osho himself chose 21 members of the inner circle who could contribute in the administrative work and who had different areas of expertise. This was the 'decision making committee'. The members of the inner circle were for life, only to be replaced after death.

Osho left his body in Jan 90. I remember that sometimes the inner circle meetings would take a long time to come to a decision because we were all so different. And I also remember how your behaviour changed. In the name of Osho's guidance you three started dictating your decisions asking other members opinions simply how to implement them. When some of the members started raising their voice against it you started undermining their work, highlighting their weak points to humiliate them. As a result after one year members of the inner circle started leaving. The reasons given: "There is a certain hierarchy within the inner circle . We have suffered humiliation, disrespect and the subtle annihilation of our work. Jayesh and Amrito do not have our trust. We are often mistrustful of the interpretation of what Osho reportedly said in private and the policies created out of that".

Now 15 members out of 21 have been replaced. It's no longer Osho's inner circle nor it's functioning as a "policy making body". Osho had chosen the members in such a way that multidimensional growth of his work and the commune could happen. You have undermined His insight by undermining the members He chose. The result is one dimensional growth of His work. His commune which was a place for transformation, a seeker's paradise, is turned into merely a short term visitor's paradise. Osho's vision is not beautiful buildings and modern structures only. His vision is his people also on whom he has been  working for so many years. It's sad to see that his people are sidelined, ignored and not listened to. The policies and rules are such that long time sannyasins do not feel welcomed anymore. The quality and the depth in the energy field is missing. If you would have loved and trusted the other members whom Osho chose and would have respected and supported their contribution in the work, the commune would have flourished in a multidimensional way, "Our beloved Osho's way".

Osho has talked hundreds of hours on the path of love and devotion. Now the argument is given that "devotion is outmoded and cultish. The newcomers will feel uncomfortable. It does not fit in a meditation resort." In this wave, Osho's beautiful picture at the front gate, in Buddha hall during meditations, on the cover of Osho Times has been removed except around Osho Full Moon Celebration time, Osho Times Asia Edition cover page has the photo, so that the assembled participants don't protest. His chair during W.R.B. is removed. Wearing of maroon and white robes during meditation camps in India is prohibited. To bow down in gratitude after the meditations in front of the podium or His picture is looked down upon. In the name of the third quantum leap, all these small devices which are a help in meditation have been taken away. Please, let this place remain juicy by respecting the uniqueness of the different paths. If you read Osho's book "The Hidden Mysteries" carefully, an understanding will arise and you will not use 'His Samadhi' for throwing out the garbage of the mind, doing 'No Mind' groups. You will treat 'His Samadhi' with reverence and sensitivity and a place to touch the depth of silence. The Samadhi is the magnetic field of the commune.

Please friends, we are sincere sannyasins who are concerned. Don't start arguing like lawyers. We are fellow travelers. We have already lost 15 members of inner circle who could have enriched the place with different dimensions of his vast vision. We have already lost most of his therapists who under His guidance made the multiversity  the most successful growth process center in the world. The money was flowing in. I heard last year the attendance in the multiversity was  so low that we could not even pay the bills. Please do not behave in an arrogant and disrespectful manner towards his people. It is absolutely contrary to his teachings. Osho has repeatedly given this  message "make room for my people to contribute", "make my people  happy". Anando should remember, how many times Osho used to ask  us "Are my people happy?" And now, anybody expressing his unhappiness is labeled 'negative, is out to destroy the commune'. Disagreeing with the administrators does not mean disagreeing with Osho and the commune.

There is a fear in sannyasins. They are afraid in expressing the discontentment. They will be labeled as against Osho and his commune. 
Please respect their freedom of speech. I trust, Osho and his work is strong enough to allow the airing of some disputes and the work will definitely go on flourishing.

Osho himself chose you as a chairman, vice chairman and the secretary to inner circle. He spent lot of time giving you the guidance on his work. You have put a lot of energy, time and money to expand the body of the commune so beautifully and aesthetically. A wonderful job has been done to reach the youth through internet. The visitors feel happy to enjoy the meditation resort facilities. Do you remember the ranch? Sheela was visiting Osho everyday for couple of hours. She was doing the work exactly under Osho's guidance, that's what she repeatedly said. Within three years she made the desert into an  oasis, a beautiful city of Rajneeshpuram. In the last year, many times, many of us felt intuitively, that something somewhere was going into wrong direction. Some of us raised our voices. They were labeled as 'negative' and were thrown out. Mistrusting Sheela meant mistrusting Osho. Many of us did not say anything looking at the light side of her. The commune was becoming more and more beautiful and comfortable. But the people were becoming more and more unhappy and dissatisfied with the administration. What happened to the ranch, we all know. Let's not repeat that.  In January 1987, once again Osho made the Pune commune the world headquarters of his work. After the ranch experience he insisted every work to be done according to Indian law. Jayesh, you know it because you were fully involved with all the aspects of this work and you spent a lot of money and energy to legalize all the assets of the commune. But one thing you seem to have forgotten is that Osho, being an Indian citizen, could not have given or transferred the copyrights of his work to a European trust. It was illegal, because he had already given to a trust in India. Sheela must have managed this transfer illegally. That's precisely the reason he asked us to get everything transferred back to his headquarters in India. But it is a shock to know that instead of transferring the rights back to India, you started the whole process of getting everything secretly registered and copyrighted in Zurich, 18 months after Osho left his body. We came to know about it much later that in 1997 you had successfully copyrighted and trademarked his works in U.S.A. It became known to us through the internet and when some members of our publishing team would pronounce in our meetings - "about this we have to check with Pramod in New York".

Gradually this was being made clear to us that the New York was our publishing headquarters and most of our publication decisions were being taken there. We could not do anything without first checking with our New York office. This office gradually became more and more powerful, bypassing the process of decision making in Pune. During the same time our sannyasin publishers were also getting harsh letters of demanding royalties, or legal notices were being served to them if they did not fulfill your demands. Earlier Osho showered love on those who made Him available around the world because they did this work when no regular publisher would touch Osho, as he had become so controversial and had been deported from 22 countries. The same sannyasins who did this out of joy (even though they may have sold their properties etc) to get him published were horribly treated by you ten years later. This was the most shameful attitude. Instead of appreciation of their contribution you used the American arm-twisting methods with Osho lovers.

Now the present situation of the world headquarter of his work, the  commune in Pune is:

Out of 880 signature paintings of Osho, only 40 are in his Lao Tzu  library, rest 840 are in the warehouse in London. Out of thousands and thousands of his photographs (Osho is one of the most photographed man in the world) less than one thousand photographs are available in Pune, the rest are in London.  The work departments in the commune are shrinking to the minimum.  People are coming from India and around the world just for a week or two. The joy, the love, the laughter, the warm welcome and hugs, the depth of the meditative quality is becoming less and less. 

What is totally objectionable is the applying of the trademark of Osho meditations in USA, when the master himself ridiculed it in a public discourse attended by 5000 people. He ridicules Mahesh Yogi for doing such a thing. Now, by doing the same thing, we are bringing tremendous amount of ridicule to our master. Anando, you may remember that in your presence Osho said that if you want to protect the purity of meditation, then the best way is to make them available in every nook and corner of the world. Osho is an enlightened mystic, a Buddha, not a mere author. His message is for the upliftment of whole humanity and expansion of consciousness. How dare his chosen disciples shackle him with the fetters of rigid copyright laws of U.S.A. about which you are proud of, proclaiming that the US laws are very strong. Osho says: "Law is needed only when love is missing". 

You have gone to the cruel track of law, forgetting the healing power of love, which Osho showered on all his sannyasins. You may be doing this only to please and serve some people of corporate world. You want to turn this commune into a corporation of your imagination. Well, in that case, you will have a body without soul, a painted and decorated corpse, as they do in America before burying the corpse.

I have been raising serious concerns about Osho's work. They are coming out of my deep love for Him and His place. Don't just brush them aside by giving silly reasons - "because of my anger with Osho", "political campaign against Osho's work". We are all in love with the same master. We are all seekers working on ourselves through participating in his work. Let's look at these issues intelligently. 

I have been talking to you for the last three years. I walked out in protest last year. I had no alternative than to respond to the press. The letter written by the management team to Keerti, to all the meditation centers in India and few friends had leaked out to the press. My "no comments" were provoking them to write their own stories based on your letter. Then I got a call from a friend in the commune that there is a message for you on the sticker desk "not to give Neelam a sticker to come in. Tell her to meet the management team first". It became clear that I am no more welcome to come in to meditate. Then I decided to respond to the press to discuss the real issues. Though I came to the commune two days later to be officially banned.

I personally don't like all our internal affairs talked in the press and public. But I feel that you are primarily responsible in creating this situation, as much as I am responsible in responding this way. Osho has showered so much love on us. I trust positive solutions will come out of this chaos. This too shall pass and soon one day we will laugh, dance, celebrate our togetherness.

With love

Neelam

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