RAJNEESHPURAM, Ore The November rains have washed over the former Big Muddy cattle ranch, turning it into a pasture more suited for range land than for its current function as a spiritual community.
But disciples of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who bid goodbye to their guru Thursday as he headed back to his native India, have vowed to stay in his absence and transform their remote central Oregon commune into a model community for the entire world to emulate.
For the present at least, there appears to be no mass exodus from Rajneeshpuram, and the Rajneeshees say they have no intention of pulling up stakes and selling their 126square mile ranch. The guru himself has instructed his disciples not to follow him to India, but to independently pursue their own spirtitual paths to selfrealization.
In a plea bargain with federal prosecutors, Rajneesh Thursday pleaded guilty to two felony counts of immigration fraud and agreed to pay a $400,000 fine and leave the country. The 53yearold guru said he had changed his plea despite his innocence to spare his disciples and himself the further ordeal of a trial and more negative publicity.
Rajneeshpuram residents, who number anywhere between 1,5004,000 at various times, went on about their daily tasks Friday.
Geological surveys indicate that Rancho Rajneesh may yield a bonnanza in untapped mineral resources, he said. There are known gold, silver, and coal deposits on the ranch, and the property also May contain substantial oil and natural gas deposits.
“Bhagwan felt that the mining business was a non-meditative activity. His vision of this place is that it would be a spiritual community,” John explained.
Article extracted from this publication >> November 22, 1985