Osho’s death controversy demands answers even today
Twenty years after he died, the controversy surrounding Osho’s death on January 19, 1990 has still not been resolved with many followers seeking answers to key elements in the official story.
Within and outside discussion groups on the Internet, Osho’s followers are questioning the official version about Osho’s death and the purported instructions that he left behind for the conduct of the multi-million dollar commune after him.
The official version that he died of thallium poisoning administered during his prison term in the United States is being questioned on discussion groups such as sanyas.org. Many of his followers say that the mystic never showed any deterioration in his health for at least two years after his return f
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It is well known in commune circles that Amrito and Jayesh were the only two persons present at Osho’s bedside when he died in Pune on January 19, 1990. Also, that it was Amrito who first propounded the thallium poisoning theory. Amrito and the commune’s press in-charge Amrit Sadhana backed out of an interview promised to DNA on Wednesday last.
Amrito insisted that he did not wish to discuss the past and that the only thing that mattered were Osho’s words.
The day after Osho died, Amrito gave a public account of his death in the commune’s Buddha Hall and announced that as per Osho’s instructions a 21-member Inner Circle had been formed to govern the commune.
“Amrito’s statement is available in a video recording in which he had promised that the evidence to support his claims about Osho’s instructions would be presented in 48 hours. That never happened,” Swami Tathagat, a former member of the Inner Circle said while speaking to DNA.
Given the fact that Osho’s talks were extensively recorded in video and audio and converted into more than 600 books, the failure to record his testament was raised even 20 years ago.
Tathagat, who is now based in Dharamshala, said that this failure to produce evidence continues to cause distress among Osho’s followers even today. He said that the swift changes that took place in the commune after Osho’s death — such as turning it into a commercial resort hinted at a secret agenda.
Ma Neelam, a personal secretary to Osho and a disillusioned ex-member of the Inner Circle told DNA that she had expressed her concerns in an open letter to Jayesh, Amrito and Anando, nine years ago.
She accused the three of deliberately misinterpreting Osho’s words to suit their own designs and also questioned the transfer of copyrights of Osho’s work to a European trust.
Swami Chaitanya Keerti, the former press in-charge at the commune said he had trusted Amrito’s account about Osho’s death. “But later I came to realise that this was not the same Amrito,” Keerti said, adding that by 1999-2000 Amrito had changed totally and “was the only one who was allowed to interpret Osho’s message the way it suited the resort, nobody else”. According to Osho’s followers, “a small group of three to five people” including Jayesh, Amrito, Yogendra (Darcy O’Byrne, brother of Jayesh) and Mukesh Sarda exercise complete control on the Osho commune today.
Incidentally, on the day Osho died, the commune had issued and suddenly withdrawn a press note with him condemning American spiritualist Shirley MacLaine, suggesting that his statements were being fabricated.
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