I'm back to Italy after a two-month stay at the meditation center in Koregaon Park, Pune, India. On my way back I kept thinking about this experience. I had visited the meditation center before, last time in 2011. Back then I had a hunch that many things were changing in relation to Osho's "Commune" – the place and community that for many years had attracted a large number of Sannyas (disciples) from all over the world.
Now the Commune has a new name, it's called “Resort”. This new formula marks a change of spirit, I think. It's likely that the concept of a recreational center came about with the increasing maintenance duties of the Commune. Such duties demanded considerable involvement of all resident disciples, and ended up becoming a distraction from meditation. On the other hand, now with the hiring of external caretakers who maintain buildings, and cooks who prepare and serve meals, expenses have shot up, and personal ties and sharing among community members have weakened.
I can attest, by direct daily experience, to the decreased quality and considerably more expensive checks that external cooks and catering services have brought about for the guests.
Even though the “vegetarian cooking” seal has been kept around, it does not help. Abolishing meat does not necessarily imply that healthier meals are being prepared.
Every day I scanned the menu and ate there. Most dishes could not be considered healthy, due to the widespread use of dairy products, sugar, eggs, abundant spices, and nightshades, such as potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes and peppers.
For lunch – the main meal of the day – two self-service restaurants were open. The first one, Meera, regularly offered brown rice and boiled vegetables, as well as many traditional Indian cooking dishes. Since the second half of February – when fewer guests visit the resort – only one restaurant was open, Zorba the Buddha. Getting brown rice and boiled vegetables entailed a special order in advance. So, following a simple and healthy diet became more difficult.
My description might make you think I am a healthy-food zealot – follower of a very restrictive diet. No. My aim is to investigate what teachings Master Osho gave us about eating.
Every evening all disciples gather in the big pyramid, the resort auditorium, to celebrate together by way of listening to Osho's recorded speeches. In one particular speech Osho tells us that he has stopped eating dairy products, at his personal physician's recommendation. From doing so he has considerably improved his health and curbed his ailments.
In the same speech Osho reflects about the ethical standards of livestock exploitation – animals are mercilessly and cruelly abused to increase milk production.
A citation from Chapter 25 of From personality to individuality:
My feeling has been always […] milk is just like meat. It is not vegetarian, it is animal food. […] From where does the milk come? It is the mother’s mechanism, biological mechanism, which transforms her blood into milk. You are really drinking white blood.
Osho goes on describing some Indian cattle keepers' violent practices that aim at increasing milk production. Then he comments about his resolve not to consume dairy products and the healing that comes from it:
Everybody was harassing me: “If you drop milk then there is nothing in the food. If you drop curd then there is nothing in the food. If you don’t take butter then you will lose weight.” But that weight was causing me all kinds of difficulties. Right now all my difficulties have disappeared. My breathing is no longer a trouble, and my weight has come down, my back has been getting better.
Now I need to reminder readers that Osho didn't generally speak out about macrobiotics or eating because he absolutely didn't want to give rise to rigid or fanatic ways in his listeners. However, I am convinced that he did speak out about dairy products – in line with his more general teaching: we must respect our body, and so be aware of how we eat. In summary, I believe Osho is encouraging us to experiment dropping dairy products, and observing the positive personal changes that ensue.
 From Personality to Individuality, Osho Media International, p. 504