Celluloid Osho, quite a hit

Times of India/January 3, 2004
By Neil Pate

The celluloid image of this century's most celebrated and controversial guru, Osho induces instant laughter and cheerful spirits in the swank pyramid shaped Osho auditorium. The occasion: Osho Film Festival 2004.

Hundreds of maroon-robed Osho disciples laughed and cried in a joyous frenzy while watching the inaugural film Moments with Osho during the much-awaited festival organised by the Osho Commune International from January 3-18.

In a span of 15 days, the ongoing festival will screen approximately 14 films on Osho, ranging from 25 minutes to an hour giving an honest glimpse into the public and private life of the 'Master'.

Says sanyasin Lolita from US, who has been associated with the commune (Rajneesh ashram) since 1977, 'The selected films and footage had to be short-listed from an archival collection of more than 5,000 Osho films. As a result, every film capture the 'master' in his perfect element.'

As seen through the films and footage, there were hundreds of Indians who stood by him when he delivered his first controversial discourse, Sambhog se Samadhi Tak (From Sex to Superconsciousness) at Gowalia Tank, Mumbai, in the 1960s.

With a penchant of courting controversies, Osho which means "Nothing' in Japanese was also dubbed as a 'sex guru' by the media as he delivered discourses, new meditation techniques and criticised traditional religions.

Standing stock-still like a mannequin to signify peace and tranquillity, a glitter-dabbed tall and lanky fashion model, Ina from Germany says, she visited India in 1999 and was completely impressed by Osho's principle.

"From that very moment I had decided to join the commune. Although, I never had the privilege to meet Osho in person, I am looking forward to watch him in live action in the films," Ina says.

A leisurely stroll in the landscaped garden of Bhagwan Rajneesh ashram in Koregaon Park confirms Osho's doctrine: "Life is a festival and Celebration is overflowing energy".

Says sanyasi Sanjay (34) from Delhi and Khora (34) from Israel in unison, who have been making sojourn trips to the ashram annually, "The ashram is imbued with celebratory spirit all year round."

Small wonders then that Osho known for his expensive tastes adorned himself in diamond-studded Swiss watches, opulent flowing gowns, Gucci goggles and moved around in a Rolls Royces.

Avers sanyasin Amrit Sadhana, a member of the commune's management team, "This is the first time ever that we are showing these rare films. A lot of people are curious and we expect large crowds at the festival."

Some of the films that will be screened during the festival daily around 9.30 pm are: The Rising Moon, Death the Greatest Fiction, The Silent Explosion, The Spiritual Terrorist, Osho Biography and An Ordinary Man among others.

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