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Religion that's hip 'n' happening

Religion that's hip 'n' happening

Sects like Osho and Sri Sri Ravishankar are popular with the young.

New Delhi: They are the modern-day sects of the successful. They teach you how to meditate and celebrate. The two will never clash. It's a personalised designer religion that allows you to love your material aspirations with no guilt.

Sects like those of Osho and Sri Sri Ravishankar are today really popular with the young and successful. It's a young and personalised religion that allows them to enjoy their materialistic needs.

Here, the emphasis is on 'I'. The focus is on one's own experience.

And the men and women taking part in the Osho dancing sequence enjoy every bit of it. For the followers of Osho, the song and dance routine is a daily ritual.

Alondo Hafley came to the Osho Ashram in Pune 20 years ago. Osho's basic message attracted her: "There is no message. There is no teaching. Strive for yourself. There is always a danger in imitating others."

"I never realised something so simple can have such a profound effect," Alondo Hafley says.

Hafley is not the only one. After all, life in the fast track can become a little empty without a higher calling. With gurus like Osho and Sri Sri Ravishankar, nirvana is hip. The community, therefore, is global and the holy life merges with the comfortable life.

"I just couldn't say anything," says a boy at Osho Ashram on the effects of Osho in his life.

The five-star Osho Ashram housing 5,000 people at any point of time is a luxurious journey to inner peace. Capitalism is in, charity is out. It’s not really an arduous pilgrimage. This is the philospohy of "Me".

Anu Gupta is a pianist by profession. Associated with Osho for the past four years, she says she has found freedom at last. "Every philosophy has ifs and buts. But this masters teachings Osho's teachings," says Anu.

In an increasingly competitive world where the onus of everything from global warming to grassroot development is on man, this way of life bans nothing and gives you the freedom to choose everything.

So there is nothing strange about an Osho showroom in the midst of a buzzing shopping complex or a cigarette shop doing brisk business just outside it

"You can choose to burn your lungs with a cigarette outside or come here and meditate and choose to benefit the inside. The choice is yours," says Ravindra Bharati of Osho World.

Sri Sri Ravishankar and Osho are today the glamour boys of Indian spirituality. They are charismatic and offer a new spiritual product: how to take the good life to the fulfilled life.

(With inputs from Shilpa Dhamija)

first published:June 26, 2007, 19:43 IST