OSHO & Flowers hit the Indian Media!

Posted on October 7th, 2008 by Jim

Any OSHO fans still reading? It was a great experience in Pune, India and I’m fond of the place itself – the real world!

Eight blog posts & 17,000 words later and over 400 comments I’d aired my experience as it happened. A meeting with an editor and a flower smelling photograph later GO! Smell the flowers the OSHO experience made it into the Pune Mirror Sunday Magazine that comes with The Times of India.

Targeted at the young readers of Pune it aims to combine racy content with the sophistication and gravitas of a broadsheet - something worth aiming for to ensure debate, right?

For those who missed the posts and the hundreds of ‘make you think’ inspiring comments that accompanied them just scroll down this flowers blog for a taster and hit on ‘previous posts’ at the bottom left for the rest. Thanks to the article we’ve had some great insights in the OSHOpping post from day 7 at the bottom of this page that are still going on.

Why the Ying-Yang sign you may wonder? More on that but first here are PDF’s of the 3 page article that make their way over to the Flowers in the media section found in the right column of this homepage and right here for those interested:

OSHO 1

OSHO 2

OSHO 3

Splashed over the main Sunday mag in Pune as it makes it’s way to other Times groups…..

and media worldwide. Feel free to pass it on your local media – I’m happy to share my experience and it was the comments here at flowers that drove me on to tip-tap away with the forefingers of both hands.

One thing I forget to write about was that I was given a free OSHO book voucher as part of my OSHO stay and I confess bought the OSHO – Living Tao, featuring talks on fragments from Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu - a book I’ve been reading in Bigram format since 1997 – all at the roll of a dice as I select one of the 64 passages.

As I wind up my memorable trip here in Dharamshala where I met H.H. Dalai Lama, I’ve uncovered an interesting local perception about Tibetan exiles and will share my findings with you in due course.

I’ve updated our last poll on content you’d like to see here at GO! Smell the flowers. Inspiration won, followed by health and then travel so thanks to all who voted. Our next poll asks if you’d visit an OSHO retreat in the future – even if out of curiosity, like I did!

[poll id="15"]

All comments welcomed on the OSHO series I wrote and how you think my experience came across in the article as we went from Blog to Sunday magazine.

Feel free to add your OSHO vote and make it count and new readers – why not post a comment and have your say? Thanks.


22 Responses to “OSHO & Flowers hit the Indian Media!”

  1. Taylor Blue says:

    It looks great…Way to go Jim… :)

  2. How exciting!!! I want to see the article, but couldn’t find it.

    • Jim says:

      Hey CC – just click on the OSHO 1, 2 & 3 links in this article OR in the ‘Flowers in the Media’ section in the right column of the blog…

      • Thank you Jim for not making fun of me. When you explained it, I went “duh!!!” It looked great. The front looked like a tabloid however. You are a writer, your writing is in newsprint…lots of it.

  3. Arvind says:

    Congratulations Jim!!!

    This makes great reading – maybe we will make a writer of you yet :-)

  4. RYK says:

    Jim, the only comment I have on the article is that it came out fairly negative for someone who went for 1 day and extended to 8 days! Why stay so long if it was so bad, when the beautiful hills awaited ?

    Reminds me of people I meet in Dubai who curse the place after 10 years of living there and I wanna ask them “why the hell are you still here if you find this place so bad?”

    • Jim says:

      Well to shun it after 1 day would have been wrong – I was just getting started and changing my flights and extending was the right call – the place intrigued me. I was on a mission to try and get into the place, fell sick, bad service and maybe I was a one off?

      It wasn’t bad – I just wrote about it with real-world eyes on – whatever rocks your boat and all that jazz. The hills waited for me and will be here next time I head to Dharamshala…..

      The ‘ just another year’ curse of Dubai is larger than life now but people will still visit, look at working and now that global recession is biting the Abu Dhabi n Dubai machine will plough on regardless. Lebanese wishing they were in Canada, Indian accountants ready to head to the US, Brits for France & Italy or New Zealand – on it goes – the wish list often fueled by a healthy ambition and a zest for life….

      ‘Just one more year’ to what? Fulfillment? That can only start right here, right now with acceptance – that OSHO message was right and you didn’t need a purple robe and an AIDS test to realise it.

  5. aussiecynic says:

    I did find the article interesting, and yes a little negative, but I feel that came from the Title more than anything else.
    However given what you went through in the place and the aspects of its cult like dimena it was a fair account, balanced, there would be much more to it, and many others things look delve into but I am pleased you did not go there… :)

    should be interesting to see how this affects those in Pune and perhaps when it reaches its other syndications if any perceptions change.
    Would also be interesting as a case study to go back in 12 months time and see if any of those people stuck there have managed to get out or are still serving their time…however if I was you, I wouldnt be going back in a hurry.. lol..

    • Jim says:

      Cheers AC…12 months time, I’d guess it would be the same ‘if only THEY knew how peaceful it is here’.

      Away from reality.

      • aussiecynic says:

        perhaps they are all happy little vegemiters and bright as bright can be….

        its so nice out here….. calm, peaceful, stress free environment we share….
        yeh right… ok where do I sign…..
        ;)

  6. Svasti says:

    Hey Jim,
    Congrats on the article. Do you have any way of getting feedback from the ‘target audience’? It would be interesting to know what they think!

    • Jim says:

      Well it’s a tough one to call, measure and gauge Svasti – we’ve had 400 more readers here per day in the last week but only 3-4 that have commented – so a 1% return as it were – like any Marketing mailshot or message!

      I’ve posted the poll so we can gauge reaction here but I imagine the perception at OSHO would be shock, in Pune would be ‘we always knew that the OSHO place had lost it without a leader’ and everyone else pretty indifferent – no evidence to that and anyway 99% of statistics are made up :-)

  7. Lib says:

    That’s wicked!

    Erm, to be fair, haven’t had a chance to read it but it looks great.

    The shot of you with the flowers looks like a Sun story along the lines of ‘Jim, with Rotherams biggest leek’

    ‘What’s your leek growing secret Jim?’

    ‘Not much really, a bit of Newccy Brown and some pot-ash’.

    Brilliant.

  8. Maria says:

    Dear Jim,
    I have been living in Pune for two decades now and everytime have been tempted by my Osho friends to register in the Osho ashram but never did. Glad that you gave a detailed account of the services in. I too was prejudiced about Osho’s liberal love doctrine after listening to stories from the locals and interacting with some sanyasins. But after reading Osho seriously, I changed my mind. One thing I must add is that most of the sanyasins I have met, although very carefree and fun loving, will never do any charity for the poor or the needy. Maybe that is what makes then unattractive to us Pune citizens.

  9. Urban Pagan says:

    Maria

    great post and really interesting. more please!!!

  10. dhyan amrits says:

    hey i guess i’m one of the 400 that have run into this blog as well!!

    A very nice and honest look at Pune, and interesting descriptions as well!

    I am what most of you will probably label me as ” an osho cultist”. Although i don’t really agree with this term and label, if that’s the best you can do…I think Alok John had a nice word on this on the previous entries.

    My 2 cents is; Osho was never in favor of Organized Religion from the very beginning, however, he had always had an organization around him from the very beginning, this was the paradox. Every opportunity that Osho had to criticize a structural framework and religious doctrination, he would do so without any hesitation. Nonetheless, all of you whom have briefly explored Osho’s life know about the Rajneeshpuram finally.

    My own understanding, with bits and pieces of an Osho influence, is that the specific existence of that organization around him was not for spiritual authority but that of purely “mundane” matters. For example, running the place, paying the bills, keeping a beautiful atmosphere, security, food etc etc. But perfection is never possible and Osho never introduced “his people” as his followers, and accepted the regular qualities of normal people including ego, manipulation, love, hate, greed etc etc.

    Thus, the organization is just creating a space for meditation, but as far as giving dogmas and rights about any one person’s spiritual path, i think most people who have known Osho for many years can withdraw “Osho Authorities” with a grain of salt. And the consequence of Rajneeshpuram, although many extraordinarily beautiful things happened there, the one crack on the wall (sheela
    s gang and the constant pressure from the US government) brought the walls down and left a nasty stigma! This event I believe reinstated the fact that even those whom were physically close to Osho did not understand his message (forgive me if this sounds cultish to you).

    So, you’re experience in Pune Jim, tell me the symptoms of a few authoritartian bunch but perhaps that rigid structure is needed to keep a place like that thriving. But back at home outside Pune, Osho is as free as the wind and the birds and no one person can tell you what his message is about or who Osho is. For some he’s a fraud, from some a mystic, for some a buddha and for some a con-man! But like him or not, hez not going away so I recommend getting a wider picture of Osho apart from Pune including Osho Tapoban, in Kathmandu Nepal, Osho Nisarga, in Dharmsala, and/or the hundreds of small centers around the world.

    Note: As far as Maria’s comment on Osho and charity. Although Osho never explicity was against helping the poor, he is against Poverty. Osho’s message, as far as I understand, is the deepest root of poverty is in mind of all human beings. Charity is just pruning the leaves of a massive tree, and Osho’s vision is cutting the roots of poverty through lifting conciousness.

    BUT there as Sannyasins like Chinmaya Dunster (Musician from Celtic Ragas) who are very very active in promoting charitable causes like “Concert for India’s Environment”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft8iJ_5R-Lw

    http://www.chinmaya-dunster.com/

    The Osho Meditation Resort was involved in Urban redevelopment for Koregaon Park’s Osho Teerth, which used to be a sewage site. This is park is now open to the public as well. Osho’s influence in Pune plays a direct role in economic policy as well for the city, as tourists from all over world bring hands full of cash. This creates jobs (yes its india and there’s corruption but still), tax dollars and business enterprise. Its probably done alot more for people around that area than any charity could have done.

    http://www.osho.com/Content.cfm?Area=magazine&Sub1Menu=aboutoi&Sub2Menu=ecology

    Any ways, please feel free to reply and tell me i’m a brainwashed follower!! (following a “No-Mind”).

    Dhyan Amrits

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