Most commonly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Osho has been suspected as poisoned by his confidantes who had an eye on his riches. He always said: “Death should be celebrated and not feared,” and the same man, Osho died mysteriously on 19 January 1990.
And immediately after his death, his confidantes took up the reins of his vast global empire, which runs into the thousands of crores of rupees. This was possible because of a will, which has now been legally challenged by Yogesh Thakkar, a Pune-based disciple of Osho.
Thakkar claims the will is fake and that the foreigner confidantes are “smuggling and siphoning off Indian spiritual treasure”. His petition in Bombay High Court also attaches an affidavit by Dr. Gokul Gokani, who was present inside the Pune ashram when Osho breathed his last. Dr. Gokani, who wrote Osho’s death certificate, suspects foul play in the last 4 hours before his death. So, after 26 years, 7 haunting controversies that revolve around Osho’s death and succession have resurfaced.
1. What happened at 1 pm?
On the afternoon of 19 January 1990, Dr. Gokul Gokani was resting at his home in Pune. He writes in his affidavit that he was asked to immediately reach the Osho ashram with his emergency kit and letterhead. When he asked if someone was seriously ill or dead, he didn’t get an answer. If Osho was “dying”, why didn’t Amrito ask Dr. Gokani to try and save him?
2. Did Osho die at 5 pm?
Dr. Gokani writes in his affidavit that he was asked to visit Osho’s room at 5 pm. Amrito and Jayesh were in the room near Osho’s body. Amrito said, “He’s just left his body and you have to write his death certificate.” I asked for his passport to check his exact name and birthmarks on his body. His body was still warm and soft. So, he must have left the body not earlier than one hour. Dr. Gokani wonders why Amrito and Jayesh were waiting for Osho to die? With so many doctors already in the ashram, why was Dr. Gokani called in to write the death certificate?
3. What was the real cause of his death?
Dr. Gokani says he hadn’t seen Osho breathing his last, so he asked Amrito and Jayesh what the cause of death was. They asked him to write a heart-related reason to avoid a post-mortem. If Dr. Gokani is to be believed, the real reason for Osho’s death is still unknown.
4. Why so much hurry in cremation?
Amrito and Jayesh told the ‘Inner Circle’ of 21 members that Osho wanted his body to be cremated immediately. The duo asked everyone to take darshan from a distance. Members of the Inner Circle were asked to strictly avoid talking about Osho’s death. After making a short public announcement, Osho was cremated within the hour. Questions were and are still being raised about the incomprehensible hurry to cremate his body.
5. Why was his will kept secret?
Yogesh Thakkar claims in his affidavit that the 1989 will was not known to anyone in the ashram. It wasn’t produced in a 2013 court case in the US. He claims it suddenly appeared in a European Court case after 2013. Thakkar alleges that the will was prepared after Osho’s death and only when questions were raised about intellectual property rights. The will leave everything that belonged to Osho to Osho International Foundation’s trustee, Jayesh.