Banned for life by Osho Commune, Aussie disciple on hunger strike

Jan 24, 2014, 07:53 IST | Kaumudi Gurjar

Anna Hazare brought hunger strikes back in fashion, and since then many others have followed his lead

Pune: For instance, meet Anthony Durrell, an Australian citizen, also known as Swami Dhyan Viral. He claims that the Osho Commune banned him for life for wearing a white robe while taking a walk on the lawns of Hotel Sunderban.

in fast lane: Anthony Durrell, aka Swami Dhyan Viral. pic/krunal gosavi
In fast lane: Anthony Durrell, aka Swami Dhyan Viral. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Terming this conduct as spiritual and cultural abuse, Viral points out that that in just two days India would be celebrating it’s Republic Day, and an Australian citizen like him, who claims to be half Indian, has an earnest appeal to make in a Gandhian manner to fellow disciples to put an end to this maltreatment at an ashram.

Viral claims he was roughed up by a person posing as a member of the management at Osho Commune yesterday afternoon. He told MiD DAY, “The person asked me to end my hunger strike and leave the hotel. The entire episode was recorded on a CCTV camera.”

Sushil Harsule, the front office executive of Hotel Sunderban, confirmed this episode. Viral, who, lightheartedly explains that he earlier had difficulty adjusting to his new name, ‘Viral’, which he thought was derived from ‘virus’ and had negative connotations. But now, he says, something going viral is considered positive, and wishes that his protest meets with a similar reaction among fellow disciples.

Viral, who had opportunity to meet spiritual master Osho on December 5, 1988 recounts that he was instantly drawn to the spiritual guru. He told MiD DAY that he only returned here in January 2010 and was banned from the ashram for resisting the physical and verbally abusive demands to remove a mala in Osho’s ashram. He was allowed to enter only after tendering an apology, he adds.

But he has been banned again, for the fourth time, for wearing a white robe in the grounds of Hotel Sunderban, he claims. “In fact, a life ban has now been imposed on me. I am trying to deal with the distress of being denied access to Osho’s Samadhi,” he said.

He adds that he has not eaten since then and has set up small ahimsic hunger fast camp on the front lawn of Hotel Sunderban. Another Osho disciple said that it was common for the management to ban disciples.

Swami Mukesh alias Mukesh Sarda, trust member of Osho Commune, did not respond to repeated calls made to him, and chose not to reply to the text message sent to him by this reporter.

OIF withdraws Osho’s will

Yogesh Thakkar Swami Prem Geet) informed MiD DAY that KELTIE (law firm) attorney representing Osho International Foundation, Zurich, has approached a European court seeking withdrawal of Osho’s last will and testament from the proceedings on January 2, 2014. This is to note that earlier this ‘forged’ will was produced by the same people in this court on June 7, 2013. Thakkar added, “We are very much sure that this withdrawal of will is eyewash, as the will is forged and the accused named in FIR are not willing to produce original will for further probe.”

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