NEW DELHI — Indian guru Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh, forced from his Oregon commune last month, says he is fed up with Indian greed and will start a commune on a tropical island near Fiji in the South Pacific, the Indian Express newspaper said today.
The newspaper quoted Rajneesh as saying he will set up a new commune "within two weeks" on one of three privately owned islands outside the jurisdiction of any government.
"I'll be finished with governments, and I will be in a position to criticize governments," Rajneesh said.
Rajneesh and a group of disciples from his sprawling commune in eastern Oregon fled to the town of Kulu in the Himalayan foothills after the guru ran afoul of U.S immigration laws.
Nine of his top aides, including his personal cook, nurse and physician, were ordered to leave India on Dec. 16 after the government refused to renew their tourist visas.
Rajneesh, who had said his return to India was a final homecoming, was quoted as saying he was disillusioned with greedy people in his homeland and was ready to move on.
"The Indian mind is so greedy and materialistic in spite of all the nonsense spoken about spiritualism," he said.
Rajneesh complained that the exclusive Span Resort in Kulu where he stayed doubled its prices when he arrived.
Since his return, the Indian press has ridiculed him for his philosophy of sexual freedom and his recently liquidated collection of Rolls-Royce cars.
Two South American countries had sent Rajneesh invitations to start communes there, the newspaper said.
Rajneesh said the island in the South Pacific he has chosen for his new commune "is immensely beautiful. There are already facilities for 350 people to live, a hotel for 80 people and a small sea beach."
The guru did not pinpoint the island but said his followers had found three likely sites for the new commune, two in the islands near Fiji and one nearby.
"We can make a paradise," Rajneesh said. "Why should we bother with governments?"