OIF's Full-Page Ad Criticizing
Neelam, June 2000
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
on this site, introduced here.
Sourced from http://www.osho.info/sites/default/files/17_3.pdf,
this page presents OIF's rebuttal to a press conference given by Ma
Yoga Neelam a few days previously. It was also sent to many Osho
centers. Neelam responded with a widely
circulated open letter, reproduced here. We also have here a full-hearted
examination from Sangeet, addressing both their attack on
Neelam and their claims regarding Osho's work. Her words suggest that
Comments from Others" at the end were indeed part of
the ad or at least of the version sent to the Osho centers, not just
attached to the Osho.info web page.
The entire text of Osho.info's page is reproduced here, including bold
formatting. It was a full page ad published in the Indian Express
all over India, and in the Times of India in Ahmadabad and
Bangalore, on 28th June 2000:
Why Do We Need This Full
There is a campaign in the media to convince people that something is
wrong at Osho's thriving Commune in Pune, something wrong with the
people Osho chose to be responsible for his work, and something wrong
with the direction of that work. Behind these allegations is Ma Neelam,
along with her consort, Sw. Tathagat. Till recently their strategy was
simple. Ma Neelam pretends that she has been personally informed by
Osho of his wishes for his work and is therefore someone whose opinion
on this can be trusted. She remains silent in public, but below the
surface makes sure that everyone knows she thinks Osho's wishes are not
being respected. Tathagat, who has no credibility in the sannyasin
community, trades on Ma Neelam's deceptions to spread lies and
distortions to the media and government bodies.
Eventually, the Commune Management Team had no alternative but to
inform the Osho Meditation Centers in India. Now that these centers
know Ma Neelam's credibility is a lie, she has been forced to "break
her year-long silence" and try her luck with the general public and the
The essential point is that Ma Neelam has gone to great trouble over
many years to deceive people into thinking that she was a long time
on-going confidant of Osho until he left his body – someone who was
"specially close" to Osho, and who naturally must know the facts.
In reality, she was Osho’s secretary for India for just 3 ½ years, the
last year of which Osho dropped her from the daily secretarial work
with him. This meant that she was not present at all while he was
making the plans and preparations for his work after he was gone. The
reason Osho gave for dropping her was, "She thinks she knows better
than everyone, including me. She is a stubborn type. She has forgotten
who is the master and who is a secretary."
Despite being specifically excluded from any direct guidance from Osho
about his wishes for the future direction of his work, Ma Neelam is
insisting that she knows better than the people Osho actually worked on
these plans with.
As Osho explains it, rather than admit her anger towards Osho at being
dropped from her function, she attacks those who were entrusted by her
Master with his work. Her ignorance about Osho's work is clear when one
compares her false allegations with the facts outlined below.
She has now convinced her close friend, Swami Chaitanya Keerti – in
spite of Keerti's admission that he was not aware that Osho had dropped
Ma Neelam. Ironically, media contacts which were originally made by
Keerti on behalf of the Commune, are now being used by him to attack
As a result, misinformation is being published while the correct facts
are not. Hence we have no alternative but to take this page to present
False Allegations and Actual Facts
1. False Allegation: Osho wanted his copyright returned to
India after he left the USA.
Facts: What he wanted was his books returned to India – his
library of more than 50,000 books which have been at the Osho Commune
since that time.
This had nothing to do with Osho's copyrights, which, at his direction
have been protected by an international foundation for the last 19
years. As the owner of the copyrights to his own work, Osho assigned
them to a foundation in the USA, and later asked that they be
transferred to a Swiss-based foundation. He directed that they remain
there. The legal records of assignment of copyright are well documented
and carry Osho's signature. Further, Osho has given sworn testimony in
a copyright infringement lawsuit in the United States confirming his
Osho looked in detail at all his publications. From 1986 onwards, every
English language book he saw included the title page with the copyright
notice acknowledging the Swiss Foundation. He even made suggestions to
change this copyright entry, asking that the date be removed to reflect
the timelessness of his words. Books displaying that international
Swiss copyright are in Osho's library today, signed by him.
2. False Allegation: Osho is against royalties.
Facts: In 1971, soon after Osho created the first trust, Jivan
Kendra, to support his work, including overseeing the publishing, he
instructed his secretary of that time, Ma Yoga Laxmi, "You write a
letter to these publishers explaining that now they should pay
royalties." This is confirmed by the then managing trustee of this
trust, Jayantibhai Thakkar.
The records confirm royalty payments at that time, including from the
Aum Rajneesh Meditation Center, in Bombay, managed by Ishwarbhai Shah,
a sannyasin publisher.
In 1987, when many publishers were reluctant to carry Osho titles, Osho
suggested that, as an incentive, they could allocate the royalty amount
towards additional publicity and promotion, so long as it was properly
accounted for. This is reflected in the contracts of that period. By
1989, when the first major Indian publishers began to carry Osho,
royalties were again paid. Osho was in the body at this time and agreed
As more and more major publishers again began to take Osho, there was
no need for this additional promotional expense – Osho's books now
being part of the mainstream. And in recent years, all the publishers
around the world have been informed that the money they had previously
spent on this additional promotion should now be accounted for as
royalty payments again, a nd they now pay standard royalties as they
would with any other author. So from the early 1970's till Osho left
the body, the only time when nobody paid royalties was during that
brief period between 1987 and 1989.
3. False allegation: Osho wants all royalties to be paid to
his Indian foundation.
Facts: At Osho's direction, all royalties from publishing in
remain with his foundation in India. Osho made India the only exception
to this policy, reflecting the uniqueness of our country. To date this
has amounted to some 20 lakhs over 12 years. And for information:
International royalties cover only 10% of the total expenditure of
making Osho available worldwide. The remainder is financed through
individual private donations.
4. False allegation: Osho wants his headquarters in India.
Facts: His specific request was for an International publishing
headquarters, to be situated wherever was best for making his vision
available around the world. At present, New York is the world center
for providing content to publishers – all the world's biggest media
companies are there – and so it is the best location for Osho's
publishing, and that is where it is.
The search for a suitable location started in 1986, at Osho's
instruction, and was interrupted only to devote energy to rebuilding
the Commune in Pune. The first publishing office was in London, seven
years ago, before the current office opened in New York. This
international publishing office is a wholly owned subsidiary of the
Otherwise, there are no "headquarters." Such notions exist only in
institutionalized religions and organizations. This "Vatican mentality"
has no place in Osho's vision.
5. False Allegation: The NY office is copyrighting Osho's
Facts: Osho's work is copyrighted from the moment it is created.
New York office manages that copyright in the U.S. where the laws
provide the greatest protection. At Osho's instruction, his copyright
has been registered in India since the early 1970's, and in the USA
from the early 1980's.
6. False allegation: The New York office is trademarking
Osho's name and meditations against his wishes.
Facts: The New York office is merely continuing a process that
India in the 1970's, at Osho's direction. Applications to register the
trademark "Rajneesh" were filed in India as early as the mid-70's, and
in the USA in 1979; for "Bhagwan" in 1984, and for "Zorba the Buddha"
in 1985. In addition, Osho’s meditations, photos, signatures and
various logos were copyright and trademark protected as early as the
1970s and 1980s in India, Germany, USA, and other countries.
7. False Allegation: This trademarking is being done for
Facts: No. Osho made it clear that people will try and use his
work as an umbrella for their own vision, which has nothing to do with
his. Accordingly, he asked that his work be protected by copyright and
trademark law to make sure the purity of his vision would be protected
from this kind of misuse.
For example, there have been many attempts over the years to change his
meditation techniques, which amply demonstrates the need for this
protection. It has absolutely nothing to do with preventing people from
doing these meditations, or charging people for doing them. The whole
purpose of Osho’s work is to make these meditations available as widely
8. False Allegation: Three dictators are running the
Facts: Osho has left very clear guidelines for the management of
work. He has created an Inner Circle whose responsibility is for the
continuation of his work worldwide. In addition, at his request, there
is a Management Team of Inner Circle members from India, whose
responsibility is for the Commune and affairs in India. This is exactly
what is happening.
9. Allegation: The Inner Circle is not functioning as Osho
Facts: There have been only two major problems to date. The
when Tathagat was asked to resign from the Inner Circle for theft and
abuse of power. And the second was the total failure of Ma Neelam to
understand the meaning of secrecy and unanimity, key instructions from
Osho. The suggestion that there is some kind of "membership for life"
is absurd. Some ex-members are no longer even involved in Osho's work.
The other ex-members either live in the Commune, visit regularly, or
remain happily involved in Osho's work around the world. And there is
no "split" in the Inner Circle. It is working smoothly and harmoniously
as Osho directed.
10. False allegation: Osho Commune is being commercialized
as a resort against Osho's wishes.
Facts: At a public meeting in 1989 in Gautam the Buddha
the Commune – the videotape of which is publicly available – a message
from Osho was read, presenting his vision for a "Spiritual Health
Club." At this time, Osho himself created the wording to use in a
promotional brochure: “A new kind of holiday, for the body, mind and
It was announced at that meeting: "What Osho sees is that we create
here the biggest and the most beautiful spiritual health club in the
world. A kind of spiritual Club Med – as in 'meditation.' His message
was: 'We are expanding. We are not just a religious center;
religiousness will be our very atmosphere, but we are now going to make
a greater expansion.'"
Since that meeting, the Commune has almost completed Osho's list for
this expansion. It includes the Osho Teerth Zen Garden, now visited by
some 200, 000 people a year, the pyramid complex of buildings for his
Osho Multiversity, a new model road in front of the Commune. The final
items on the list – a Dharamsala and Osho Mandir, the new meditation
hall – will be completed in about a year. At Osho's request, land has
been acquired to provide for the continued expansion of the Commune in
11. False allegation: The Commune has "thrown out" old
Facts: Over the past 25 years, many people have come and gone.
public meeting in 1989, Ma Neelam herself announced that it was Osho's
wish that "his sannyasins come and go and not be economically dependent
on the Commune because this takes away people's dignity and grace."
12. False allegation: Osho's art has been secretly removed
Facts: This project was discussed in the Inner Circle, with Ma
present, fifteen months before she left the Commune. Osho gave specific
instructions that his art be protected and preserved so that one day
people would be able to experience through his art what they now can
only experience through his words. Accordingly, the art is being
electronically digitized over time. It is a very expensive procedure.
Many have been completed and are available. These originals are already
back in India and were reviewed by the press when they were exhibited
in January 2000. They will be on display again in Osho Commune during
the Osho Full Moon meditation festival in July. The rest of the
originals are specially wrapped and stored in an environmentally
controlled, high-security location in UK awaiting digitization and
return to India.
As for the rest of the Osho archive, 227 Osho titles are now available
on the new multilingual osho.com website for anyone to read from
anywhere on the planet. This site receives some 3 million visits a
year. This archive of Osho's words provides the basis for the 1500
titles now carried by over 90 publishers worldwide in over 40
Every recorded word and video has been digitized in copy-master form.
There are now 35 complete sets of his words on 5 continents, including
India, to ensure their survival for future humanity. At one point Osho
even discussed the possibility of placing the originals in a bombproof
shelter in Switzerland for their permanent protection.
13. False allegation: Osho's Samadhi is being misused for
No- Mind Meditation.
Facts: Osho No-Mind is a meditative therapy created by Osho
during the last year he was in the body. It is a gibberish technique
that has nothing to do with the alleged "violence or abuse." Osho
specifically asked for this technique, and his Mystic Rose meditative
therapy, to take place in the Samadhi. Ma Neelam's suggestion that it
is more appropriate to have Buddha's Vipassana there rather than Osho's
own meditations is incomprehensible. Every day, seekers participate in
a variety of different meditations in the Samadhi, from 7.30 am, often
till late at night.
14. False allegation: Ma Neelam was banned from the Commune.
Facts: Ma Neelam has been visiting the Commune on and off for
year, creating the strange situation of using the Commune to meditate
on the one hand, and trying to destroy it on the other. After it became
clear that this situation had to be addressed, and the Meditation
Centers had been informed, the Commune Management Team asked to meet
with her. Instead, she called Sw Satya Vedant and refused to meet. He
asked her meanwhile to take some time off to meditate at home and to
look at what she is doing; and explained that the Management Team was
not taking her pass away, but definitely wanted to discuss the
situation with her. Ma Neelam then said she would go to the press. As
it turned out she was lying – she had already gone to the press the day
before, and her interview with the Indian Express came in that very
When asked later that day why she was attacking the Commune Ma Neelam
replied, "The Commune is dying its natural death. I am doing nothing."
This going to the press creates a whole new situation, invoking a
crystal clear directive from Osho that people who are responsible for
negative publicity against the Commune are banned until a public
apology from them is printed both in the Osho Times and in the
publication which printed the original material.
Ma Neelam is perfectly aware of this policy. In 1988, it was she who
delivered Osho's message banning Ma Laxmi – Osho’s secretary for many
more years than Ma Neelam – for conducting a divisive campaign which is
very similar to the present one. Ma Neelam has the option of accepting
her Master's guidance on this. If not she will in essence be banning
15. False allegation: Osho lovers around India are in
support of Neelam's campaign.
Facts: The Commune has received only positive responses from
India for its stand against the malicious attempt to damage Osho's work
by this tiny group of discontented people. We are aware that plans are
afoot to compensate for the size of this group by arranging
rent-a-crowd demonstrations against the Commune, with the usual free
lunch and travel expenses.
16. False allegation: Members of Parliament are supporting
Facts: Some members have been fed a totally distorted picture of
real situation. We sincerely trust that when presented with the facts,
and given an opportunity to appreciate the explosion of interest in
India and around the world in this most illustrious genius of our
country, they will see the wisdom of Osho's specific directions for his
Why These Allegations?
The origins of these allegations finally became public on June 20th in
Ma Neelam's Indian Express interview, where she acknowledged
has been in conflict with the direction of Osho's work from the time
shortly after his leaving the body.
Since she was not seeing Osho in that vital nine months when he set out
his agenda for the continuation of his work after he left the body, she
has no direct information about his wishes. She has never accepted any
decisions he made after he stopped seeing her.
Osho made it clear he has no successor, and on the contrary proposed
that all his people be ordinary, without any spiritual hierarchy. This
was in conflict with Ma Neelam's idea that she was in some way special.
She invented a whole mythology around herself to support this. She told
people that Osho had made her the "Queen of his empire," and that the
Inner Circle had been created essentially to support her work. Anyone
who has been a part of the Inner Circle knows this to be false.
Even today, she declares that she is Osho's personal secretary, when
she knows this is not true. She says she has been "close" to Osho for
30 years, to give weight to the idea that she is informed about his
The facts speak otherwise. She was an occasional visitor to the Osho
Commune during the 70's, and only became involved in Osho's work when
she started helping in the kitchen at the commune in the USA in 1982.
For three brief periods in ’86/early ‘87 she took care of Osho in the
absence of his regular caretaker. She was one of the group of
secretaries who visited Osho in the afternoons from 1987 till the
latter part of 1988, after which she was dropped from these visits
because, Osho said, she was stubborn and thought she knew better.
Osho did not make her "the queen," nor select her for any
"successor" role, nor make any mention of her on his last day, nor
leave her any memento as he did with some others.
So first she makes every effort to conceal the fact that she was not
involved in those final preparations for Osho's work. Then she has the
stunning audacity to travel the country, deceiving people about her
"special" status, and passing judgement, not only on those particular
instructions about which she naturally is not informed, but also on the
people to whom those instructions were entrusted by her Master. And in
this latest act, she is now doing her best to destroy her Master's work
in this country, confirming that she still thinks she knows better.
The Ex-Secretary Trap
With his characteristic insight into the unconscious of us all, Osho
warned about the difficulty for ex-secretaries to get over being
dropped from the secretarial function. He explains that a secretary's
ego is very happy to be called to see him for this work and gets
attached to its idea that it is special. And the ego is always angry
with Osho when he decides that they are no longer useful in that
function. He explains how these people have always demonstrated their
anger and resentment at being dropped by trying to sabotage the work
that their replacement has been asked to carry out. Just as Ma Laxmi,
Osho's secretary of the 70's, did this to her successors, and was
eventually banned by Osho from the Commune for it, so Ma Sheela did the
same, and now, like clockwork, Ma Neelam is repeating the identical
As Osho explains, when these secretaries are replaced, their egos
naturally suffer, but this is an opportunity for them to experience
ordinariness. And that the continuing resentment at being dropped
always leads to a sense of separation, which is ultimately destructive.
We trust that the people Ma Neelam has deceived, including herself, and
others who can influence this sad situation, will stop this destructive
campaign. That they will not allow Osho's work – at the very time his
vision is being embraced worldwide – to be destroyed in our country, a
country that can be proud to have given this world the phenomenon called
Osho Commune's Reality: Simply Stunning
In contrast to the endless complaints from these few discontented
people the reality of Osho's work is simply stunning. His Commune is in
the middle of the biggest expansion in its history, welcoming three
times more participants than when Osho was in the body. By far the
biggest increase is in people from India. Young intelligent educated
people who do understand Osho's message for their future, a message for
contemporary India. A message that is free of the underlying motives
behind these current allegations against Osho's work: power, greed,
money, and divisions between people based on color, race, religion and
The Management Team
Osho Commune International
Additional Comments from Others
Ma Anando: A sannyasin working in Osho’s communes for 24 years; one
the three "dictators" referred to by Neelam; Osho’s personal secretary
for the last four years in the body; appointed secretary of the Inner
Circle by Osho; declared by Osho on his deathbed as his medium
“Although I am no longer a member of the Inner Circle, I have absolute
trust and confidence in the way it is working, and I am sure Osho would
be thrilled with what is happening with his work in India and worldwide.
"I am not part of any trust or foundation associated with Osho, and I
have not been involved in the Inner Circle, for almost a year. I
decided ten years was long enough1,
and seeing that almost everything on
Osho’s list of things to do after he left had been accomplished, and
the rest were well under way, I felt totally relaxed to step aside from
this work. In this I am not alone, others still very much involved in
Osho’s work have done the same. There is nothing special about the
Inner Circle; it is simply a practical body, designed to overview
practical aspects of Osho’s work. It is not ‘religious’ in any sense,
nor are its members special in any way. They queue for their food in
the canteen just as everyone else.
are reports that this particular claim of ordinariness above is not
always so. Jayesh is rarely seen in the canteen and certain others are
reported to butt in regularly into the queue.]
"Osho knew the date he would leave his body, nine months beforehand. On
April 10th, 1989, after giving his discourse, he said that he felt his
whole body moving away from him. He then surprised me by saying he
would not be speaking again, even though he had just started a new
discourse series. He left his body on January 19, 1990. Years earlier,
he had explained in a discourse that approximately nine months before a
person dies, depending on the length of their conception, something
happens in the body, something disconnects in the hara center. He said
that an awakened person would feel this, and know that death was
[The years earlier discourse that Anando refers
to is the first talk of Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 8.
In it, Osho mentions a number of
stories and methods of people knowing ahead of time when they will be
dying. The relevant sutra and all Osho's comments on it are reproduced
at YogaAO8, a good read.]
"Fully aware of his limited remaining time, Osho worked intensely and
totally in those final nine months to create the platform for the
continued expansion of his work. This is when the complete vision for
the Commune, as it is now, was laid out – the maroon robes, the White
Robe Brotherhood, the meditation intensives, the meditative therapies
to be conducted in his Samadhi, the Multiversity, and the unique black
pyramid buildings with blue glass. He outlined his plans for the
Commune to expand and become a meditation resort, plus plans for the
international expansion of his work. He also changed his name to just
‘Osho’ in this period.
"Neelam was not privy to Osho at all during the nine months he was
laying out his plans for the expansion of the Commune and the
international work. He had dropped her from the regular afternoon
meetings with his secretaries more than one year before he left the
body. She continued to be his secretary for India, but had to pass all
her work through me, even the work connected with the Hindi
publications. I know that this was very difficult for her to accept.
She asked to see Osho a number of times, through me and through his
caretaker Shunyo, but his answer was always no.
"In light of the fact that I have no formal position in any of the
organizations involved in Osho’s work, I am surprised Neelam claims I
am one of the in-charge1. I know
she was jealous of me, because Osho
used to invite me to all his meals, and spend hours talking with me in
the evenings after the discourse. I was informed that the first words
she uttered on being told Osho had left the body, were, ‘Was Anando
there?’ And because Osho left me as his medium, it made it very
difficult for her to play the ‘mataji’ role she so clearly aspires to.
"The reason I am disclosing the jealousy is that Osho said in a
discourse in October 1988 that, 'The first commune was destroyed
because of women's jealousies. They were fighting continuously. The
second commune was destroyed because of women's jealousies . And this
is the third commune – and the last, because I am getting tired. Once
in a while I think perhaps Buddha was right not to allow any women in
his commune for twenty years. I am not in favor of him: I am the first
who has allowed men and women the same, equal opportunity for
enlightenment. But I have burnt my fingers twice, and it has always
been the jealousy of the women.'
"Osho was not, of course referring to Neelam when he said that. But it
is interesting to note that he made this statement just after he
stopped seeing her. Osho once showed me my own issues around jealousy,
which was quite painful, but at the end of the experience he said that
although it had been painful, 'a few crises bring a new approach, a new
attitude, a new being. And this crisis has brought a new dawn to your
"By one of those mysterious existential quirks, on the very night the
Indian Express was going to press with Neelam’s allegations, Osho was
speaking in Buddha Hall about problems with people who had power
positions in his communes, and then lost those positions. Referring to
a previous secretary, Sheela, Osho says, 'She would have died for me,
but the day I declared that there will be no successor to me...deep
down there must have been the hope that she was going to succeed me.
She started things which are inconceivable. She bugged my room, to be
aware of what other people were telling me, what my answers to them
were. And it was the same person who was moving with the gun to save my
life. But the desire for power, which was unconscious up to now, and
perhaps to her it remained unconscious....'”
Ma Shunyo, A sannyasin for 25 years: part of Osho’s residential
caretaking team since 1978; member of the Inner Circle; author of My
Diamond Days with Osho:
"I would like to confirm that the Inner Circle is working very
beautifully. I am saddened that no respect is being shown to Osho
regarding his choice of the people he worked with closely. As Neelam
was not part of that team in the last year Osho was in the body, she
has not been able to understand and respect his instructions about the
continuation of the work. Osho said of her, “She thinks she knows
better than everyone, including me”, and maybe that is why he ceased
seeing her. This must have hurt her very much, but still it is sad to
see her betray him now."
Ishwarbhai Shah: Founding Managing Trustee of Jivan Jagruti Kendra,
the original trust overseeing Osho's work
"I was present in the early 70's when Osho gave instructions about his
copyright, and that royalties should be paid by all, including myself.
"Osho work, as he said at that time is spreading like a fire around the
world. As an ex-secretary myself, I was initially shocked at Neelam's
unconscious behavior and then was reminded of Osho's insight that only
an enlightened one can see the unconscious mind and its desires."
Sw Jayantibhai: Founder Managing Trustee, Jivan Jagruti Kendra;
former Commune-in-Charge; former Inner Circle member
"I feel sorry for the behavior of our sannyasins in this matter2. Our
Master’s vision is for the new man, free of nations and races, a
synchronicity of East and West. His vision is multidimensional, and
there is every possibility that people will not understand. History
repeats itself by unconscious people. As in the case of Buddha. The
vision was born here but could not grow here."
- About Anando's claim to have left
the Inner Circle a year before this ad was published: It seems a bit
disingenuous for her to say, "I am surprised
Neelam claims I am one of the in-charge", since the
comings and goings and doings of the management team are a matter of
considerable secrecy. It is in fact not out of the question that this
claim is not factually true. She says, "I
have not been involved in the Inner Circle, for almost a year. I
decided ten years was long enough". If one were to quibble about
numbers, her claimed time of departure would only be nine years, not
ten. Certainly in the West she was widely thought to still be in the
top troika of the IC even long after this announcement (in Indian
newspapers), though that may not
be her fault, just that it's easy not to know what's going on in the IC.
- Jayantibhai's words taken literally
can be seen to be saying something radically different from what mgmt
is aiming to achieve with this ad: "Our sannyasins" is plural here and,
logically and sensibly, cannot be referring to Neelam (singular) but
to some group, which can as likely be those slagging her as anyone else.
In fact, his use of the word "multidimensional" adds to that
impression, since this was a word Neelam used in her letter to express
how Osho's legacy had degraded, precisely because of the lack of
multidimensionality in mgmt's approach.
Against that, we can observe in the literalness of "our sannyasins"
that the "our" might refer to Indians in general and Neelam in
particular, that impression reinforced by "the vision was born here but
could not grow here", clearly referring to India. Mgmt is evidently
the context of their ad will help Jayantibhai's words come across as a
Neelam, but who knows what he actually intended?