We could not have kept the ashram of Poona One going and certainly not the experiment in Rajneeshpuram going without a tremendous amount of donations. It does not take a genius to realize that once Osho left the body the amount of donations coming in would have dropped precipitously. This simple fact is probably the biggest factor on the difficulty of the finances.
Not only was the management of the resort charged with the task of keeping the resort going, but also, at the same time, to keep as many of Osho’s books in publication as possible, no easy task.
I am sure that it was out of Osho’s wisdom that he made the choice of personnel that he did to see the commune into, and through, the transition.
The effort to monetize the playing of Osho’s videos would appear to be part of that effort. The sale of discourse downloads for $1.99 each seems to be an effort to find the right balance between accessibility and sustainability. To make matters even more difficult, Osho directed that the books be sold as cheaply as possible and still maintain the high quality. I might have used a different strategy to maximize the publication of Osho’s books, but then again, if I had been given the entire picture, I might have concluded that theirs was the best option available.
Another difficulty that management faces is that Osho’s books are being published by others and the income from those books is diverted to support other communes. In addition, there were sites created online in order to distribute audio and video recordings of Osho’s discourses at no cost. While I am sure that all of these efforts were made with good intentions, clearly, they undermine the sustainability project.
In addition, the sustained effort to delegitimize the resort and its management year after year, surely, has to eventually begin to take a toll financially.
And then along comes Covid-19 and suddenly the resort is forced to close its doors to any visitors for almost a year.
So now what do some of us in the sannyas community do? We complain when management tries to find ways to keep the dream alive. Rather than being supportive we are Monday morning quarterbacking. Do you think that Osho would have wanted for us to take a poll, to have a vote?
Personally, I do not have any inside information as to how they are planning to weather this financial storm, but I do truly hope that they are successful, and I am willing to say so publicly.
The management team at Osho International Mediation Resort has written this letter to clarify the current affairs. It was published on OshoNews.
And recently the following letter was posted by Rupa FitzGerald on Facebook.