Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Book Buy: Who Killed Osho by Abhay Vaidya

If you lived in Pune in the early 1990s, you would have, at some point in time, learnt about Osho or Rajneesh. I first saw his picture at my grand-uncle's house. I was seven when we moved to Pune from New Delhi. It was 1990, the year Osho 'left his body'. Unfamiliar with the bearded man in the framed photograph, I asked my grand-uncle who he was. He replied, "He's a guru, Osho, and he lives here in Pune." "Your guru?" "No, we've been to a few of his talks." Osho faded from my memory as other things took over till I got married and moved to Vadodara and found his book on my mother-in-law's bookshelf. I read it and liked it but did not read more. Not till I found this book, 'Who killed Osho?' At Crossword bookstore, I took a second look at the book because the writer's name caught my eye. 'Abhay Vaidya.' And I have a faint memory of him introducing himself at a Times of India 'outdoor' workshop I was part of. I bought the book. It has been an eye-opener about how faith and business married to create entire communities of believers all over the world and how it led to the death of India's most widely-known new-age guru, who created his own brand of meditation, under the most suspicious circumstances and how the world was made to forget Rajneesh to make way for the most marketable spiritual brand, Osho. Of a professor who became widely known as a 'sex guru', multimillion dollar investments in his name, illegal transfers of intellectual property rights and fights over copyright, clashes between Western pragmatism and Eastern beliefs and the rise and destruction of a faith, this is a book that asks more questions than it answers and leaves you thinking, "How the hell did we miss this?"

No comments: