Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh): Wikis


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"Rajneesh" Chandra Mohan Jain
(रजनीश चन्द्र मोहन जैन)
Born 11 December 1931 (1931-12-11)
Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died 19 January 1990 (1990-01-20) (aged 58)
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
Field Spirituality
Movement Jivan Jagruti Andolan; Neo-sannyas
Works Over 600 books, several thousand audio and video discourses[1]
Influenced by Krishna
Gautama Buddha
Lao Tse
G. I. Gurdjieff
Influenced Peter Sloterdijk[2]

Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain (Hindi: चन्द्र मोहन जैन) (11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990), also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, calling himself Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and taking the name Osho in 1989, was an Indian mystic and spiritual teacher who garnered an international following. His syncretic teachings emphasise the importance of meditation, awareness, love, celebration, creativity and humour – qualities that he viewed as being suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition and socialisation. His teachings have had a notable impact on Western New Age thought,[3][4] and their popularity has increased markedly since his death.[5][6]

Osho was a professor of philosophy and travelled throughout India in the 1960s as a public speaker. His views against socialism, Mahatma Gandhi, and institutionalised religion were controversial. He also advocated a more open attitude towards sexuality, a stance that earned him the sobriquet "sex guru" in the Indian and later the international press.[7] In 1970 he settled for a while in Mumbai. He began initiating disciples (known as neo-sannyasins) and took on the role of a spiritual teacher. In his discourses, he reinterpreted writings of religious traditions, mystics and philosophers from around the world. Moving to Pune in 1974, he established an ashram that attracted increasing numbers of Westerners. The ashram offered therapies derived from the Human Potential Movement to its Western audience and made news in India and abroad, chiefly because of its permissive climate and Osho's provocative lectures. By the end of the 1970s, there were mounting tensions with the Indian government and the surrounding society.

In 1981, Osho relocated to the United States and his followers established an intentional community, later known as Rajneeshpuram, in the state of Oregon. Within a year the leadership of the commune became embroiled in a conflict with local residents, primarily over land use, which was marked by hostility on both sides. Osho's large collection of Rolls-Royce motorcars was also notorious. The Oregon commune collapsed in 1985 when Osho revealed that the commune leadership had committed a number of serious crimes, including a bioterror attack (food contamination) on the citizens of The Dalles. Osho was arrested shortly afterwards and charged with immigration violations. He was deported from the United States in accordance with a plea bargain.[8][9][10] Twenty-one countries denied him entry, causing Osho to travel the world before returning to Pune, where he died in 1990. His ashram is today known as the Osho International Meditation Resort.



Childhood and adolescence: 1931–1950

Osho was born Chandra Mohan Jain (Hindi: चन्द्र मोहन जैन) at his maternal grandparents' house in Kuchwada,[11] a small village in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh state in India,[12] as the eldest of eleven children of a cloth merchant.[13] His parents, who were Taranpanthi Jains, let him live with his maternal grandparents until he was seven years old.[14] By Osho's own account,[15] this was a major influence on his development, because his grandmother gave him the utmost freedom, leaving him carefree without an imposed education or restrictions.

At seven years old, his grandfather, whom he adored, died, and he went to Gadarwara to live with his parents.[11][16] He was profoundly affected by his grandfather's death, and again by the death of his childhood sweetheart and cousin Shashi from typhoid when he was 15, leading to an extraordinary preoccupation with death that lasted throughout much of his childhood and youth.[16][17] In his school years, he was a rebellious, but gifted student, and acquired a reputation as a formidable debater.[18] As a youth, Osho became an atheist; he took an interest in hypnosis and was briefly associated with socialism and two Indian independence movements: the Indian National Army and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[18][19][20]

University years and public speaker: 1951–1970

In 1951, aged nineteen, Osho began his studies at Hitkarini College in Jabalpur.[21] After acute conflicts with an instructor, the principal asked him to leave the college, and he transferred to D. N. Jain College, also in Jabalpur.[22] Having proved himself to be disruptively argumentative in Hitkarini College, he was not required to attend college classes in D. N. Jain College except for examinations, and used his free time to work for a few months as an assistant editor at a newspaper.[23] He also began speaking in public, initially at the annual Sarva Dharma Sammelan held at Jabalpur, organised by the Taranpanthi Jain community into which he was born, participating there from 1951 to 1968.[24] He resisted his parents' pressure to get married.[25] Osho later said he became spiritually enlightened on 21 March 1953, when he was 21 years old.[26] He said he dropped all effort and hope.[27] After what he describes as an intense seven-day process he says he went out at night to the Bhanvartal garden in Jabalpur, where he sat under a tree:[26]

The moment I entered the garden everything became luminous, it was all over the place – the benediction, the blessedness. I could see the trees for the first time – their green, their life, their very sap running. The whole garden was asleep, the trees were asleep. But I could see the whole garden alive, even the small grass leaves were so beautiful. I looked around. One tree was tremendously luminous – the maulshree tree. It attracted me, it pulled me towards itself. I had not chosen it, God himself has chosen it. I went to the tree, I sat under the tree. As I sat there things started settling. The whole universe became a benediction.[28]

He completed his B.A. in philosophy at D. N. Jain College in 1955 and joined the University of Sagar, where he earned his M.A. in philosophy in 1957 (with distinction).[29][30] He immediately secured a teaching post at Raipur Sanskrit college, but soon became controversial enough for the Vice Chancellor to ask him to seek a transfer, as he considered him a danger to his students' morality, character and religion.[31] From 1958, he taught philosophy as a lecturer at Jabalpur University, being promoted to professor in 1960.[31] A popular lecturer with a "golden tongue" in Hindi, he was acknowledged by his peers as an exceptionally intelligent man who had been able to overcome the deficiencies of his early small-town education.[32]

In parallel to his university job, he travelled throughout India, giving lectures critical of socialism and Gandhi, under the name Acharya Rajneesh (Acharya means teacher or professor; Rajneesh was a nickname he had acquired in childhood).[18][31][33] Socialism, he said, was a dead loss that would only socialise poverty.[33] Gandhi was a masochist and reactionary who worshipped poverty.[18][33] To escape its backwardness, Osho said, India needed capitalism, science, modern technology and birth control.[18] He criticised orthodox Indian religions as dead, filled with empty ritual, oppressing their followers with fears of damnation and the promise of blessings.[18][33] Such statements made him controversial: they shocked and repelled many, but attracted others.[18] He gained a loyal following that included a number of wealthy merchants and businessmen.[34] These sought individual consultations from him about their spiritual development and daily life, in return for donations – a commonplace arrangement in India, where people seek guidance from learned or holy individuals the way people elsewhere might consult a psychologist or counsellor.[34] The rapid growth of his practice was somewhat out of the ordinary, suggesting that he had an uncommon talent as a spiritual therapist.[34] From 1962, he began to lead 3- to 10-day meditation camps, and the first meditation centres (Jivan Jagruti Kendra) started to emerge around his teaching, then known as the Life Awakening Movement (Jivan Jagruti Andolan).[35] After a speaking tour in 1966, he resigned from his teaching post.[31]

In a 1968 lecture series, later published under the title From Sex to Superconsciousness, he scandalised Hindu leaders by calling for freer acceptance of sex.[36] His advocacy of sexual freedom caused public disapproval in India, and he became known as the "sex guru" in the press.[7] When he was invited in 1969 – despite the misgivings of some Hindu leaders – to speak at the Second World Hindu Conference, he used the occasion to raise controversy again.[36] In his speech, he said that "any religion which considers life meaningless and full of misery, and teaches the hatred of life, is not a true religion. Religion is an art that shows how to enjoy life."[37] He characterised priests as being motivated by self-interest, incensing the shankaracharya of Puri, who tried in vain to have his lecture stopped.[37]

Mumbai: 1970–1974

At a public meditation event in spring 1970 Osho presented his Dynamic Meditation method for the first time.[38] At the end of June 1970, Osho left Jabalpur for Mumbai.[39] On September 26, 1970 he initiated his first group of disciples or sannyasins at an outdoor meditation camp, one of the large gatherings where he lectured and guided group meditations.[40] His concept of neo-sannyas entailed assuming a new name and wearing the traditional orange dress of ascetic Hindu holy men, including a mala (beaded necklace) carrying a locket with his picture.[41] However, his sannyasins were expected to follow a celebratory, rather than ascetic lifestyle.[42] They would be free, creatively responding to the present situation, as comfortable with being loving as with being alone.[42] He himself was not to be worshipped, but was rather like a catalytic agent, "a sun encouraging the flower to open, but in a very delicate way".[42]

He had by then acquired a secretary, who as his first disciple had taken the name Ma Yoga Laxmi.[18] Laxmi was the daughter of one of his early followers, a wealthy Jain who had been a key supporter of the National Congress Party during the struggle for Indian independence, with close ties to Gandhi, Nehru and Morarji Desai.[18] She raised the money that enabled Osho to stop his travels and settle down.[18] In December 1970, Osho thus moved to Woodlands Apartments in Mumbai, where he gave lectures and received visitors, among them the first Western visitors.[39] He now travelled very rarely, and stopped speaking at open public meetings.[39] In 1971, he adopted the title Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.[41] Shree means Sir or Mister; the Sanskrit title Bhagwan means "blessed one", indicating a human being in whom the divine is no longer hidden, but apparent.[43][44]

Ashram in Pune: 1974–1981

The hot, humid climate of Mumbai appeared to have proved detrimental to Osho's health; he had developed diabetes, asthma and numerous allergies.[41] So, in 1974, on the 21st anniversary of his enlightenment,[45] he and his group moved from the Mumbai apartment to a property in Koregaon Park, Pune, which was purchased with the help of Catherine Venizelos (Ma Yoga Mukta), a Greek shipping heiress.[46] Osho taught at the Pune ashram from 1974 to 1981. The two adjoining houses and 6 acres (24,000 m2) of land became the nucleus of an ashram, and those two buildings are still at the heart of the present-day Osho International Meditation Resort. This space allowed for the regular audio recording of his discourses and, later, video recording and printing for worldwide distribution, which enabled him to reach far larger audiences internationally. The number of Western visitors increased sharply, leading to constant expansion.[47] The ashram soon featured an arts-and-crafts centre that turned out clothing, jewellery, ceramics and organic cosmetics and put on performances of theatre, music and mime.[47] Following the arrival of several therapists from the Human Potential Movement in the early seventies,[48] the ashram began from 1975 to complement its meditation offerings with a growing number of therapy groups.[49] These became a major source of income for the ashram.[50][51]

The Pune ashram was, by all accounts, an exciting and intense place to be, with an emotionally charged, madhouse-carnival atmosphere.[47][52][53] A typical day in the ashram began at 6:00 a.m. with Dynamic Meditation.[54][55] At 8:00 a.m., Osho gave a 60 to 90-minute spontaneous lecture in the ashram's "Buddha Hall" auditorium, either commenting on literature from a religious tradition, or answering questions sent in by visitors and disciples.[47][55] Until 1981, lecture series held in Hindi alternated with series held in English.[56] During the day, various meditations and therapies took place, whose intensity was ascribed to the spiritual energy of Osho's "buddhafield".[52] Evenings were for darshans, where Osho engaged in personal conversation with small numbers of individual disciples or visitors and gave sannyas.[47][55] Sannyasins came for darshan when departing or returning to the ashram, or if they had an issue that they wanted to discuss with Osho.[47][55]

To decide which therapies to participate in, visitors either consulted Osho or made selections according to their own preferences.[57] Some of the early therapy groups in the ashram, such as the Encounter group, were experimental and very controversial, allowing a degree of physical violence as well as sexual encounters between participants.[58][59] Conflicting reports of injuries sustained in Encounter group sessions began to appear in the press.[60][61][62] Richard Price, at the time a prominent Human Potential Movement therapist and co-founder of the Esalen institute, found that Osho's version encouraged participants to be violent rather than play at being violent (the norm in Encounter groups conducted in the United States), and he criticised the therapies for featuring "... the worst mistakes of some inexperienced Esalen group leaders".[63] Price is alleged to have exited the Pune ashram with a broken arm following a period of eight hours locked in a room with participants who were armed with wooden weapons.[63] Bernard Gunther, his Esalen colleague, fared better in Pune and wrote a book, Dying for Enlightenment, featuring photographs and lyrical descriptions celebrating the flavour of the meditations and therapy groups.[63]

Violence in the therapy groups eventually ended in January 1979, when the ashram issued a press release stating that violence "had fulfilled its function within the overall context of the ashram as an evolving spiritual commune."[64] Besides the controversy around the therapies, allegations of drug use amongst sannyasins began to mar the ashram's image.[65] Some Western sannyasins were financing their extended stays in India through prostitution and drug running.[66][67] A few of them later said that, while Osho was not directly involved, they discussed such plans and activities with him in darshan, and he gave his blessing.[68]

By the latter half of the 1970s it had become clear that the property in Pune was too small to contain the rapid growth of the ashram and Osho asked that somewhere larger be found.[69] Sannyasins from around India started looking for property that could be purchased and used for a larger ashram and alternatives were found, including one in Gujarat, in the province of Kutch, and two more in India's mountainous north.[69] Plans for a large utopian commune in India were never implemented, as mounting tensions between the ashram and the conservative Hindu government led by Morarji Desai resulted in an impasse.[69] Land use approval was denied and, more important, the government stopped issuing visas to foreign visitors who indicated the ashram as their main destination in India.[69][70] In addition, Desai's government cancelled the tax-exempt status of the ashram, resulting in a claim of current and back taxes estimated at $5 million.[71] Conflicts with various Indian religious leaders added to the situation – by 1980, the ashram had become so controversial that Indira Gandhi, despite a previous association between Osho and the National Congress Party dating back to his early speeches made in the sixties, was unwilling to intercede for it after her return to power.[71] During one of Osho's discourses in May 1980, an attempt on his life was made by a young Hindu fundamentalist.[69][72]

By 1981, Osho's ashram hosted 30,000 visitors per year.[65] In stark contrast to the period up to 1970, when his following was overwhelmingly Indian, daily discourse audiences were at this time composed predominantly of Europeans and Americans.[73][74] Many observers noted that Osho's lecture style changed in the late seventies, becoming intellectually less focused and featuring an increasing number of jokes intended to shock or amuse his audience.[69] On 10 April 1981, having discoursed daily for nearly 15 years, Osho entered a three-and-a-half-year period of self-imposed public silence, and satsangs – silent sitting and music, with readings from spiritual works such as Khalil Gibran's The Prophet or the Isha Upanishad – took the place of his discourses.[75][76] Around the same time, Ma Anand Sheela (Sheela Silverman) replaced Ma Yoga Laxmi as Osho's secretary.[77]

Move to America: 1981

In 1981, mounting tension around the Pune ashram, increasing criticism of its activities and threatened punitive action by the Indian authorities provided an impetus for the ashram to relocate its operations to America.[78][79][80] On 1 June, Osho travelled to the United States on a tourist visa, ostensibly for medical purposes, and spent several months at Kip's Castle in Montclair, New Jersey.[81] He had been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc in spring 1981 and had been treated by several doctors, including James Cyriax, a St. Thomas' Hospital musculoskeletal physician and expert in epidural injections, who was flown in from London.[77][82][83] Sheela stated in public that Osho was in grave danger if he remained in India but would receive appropriate medical treatment in America if he were to require surgery.[77][82][84]

According to Susan J. Palmer, the move to the United States "appears to have been a unilateral decision on the part of Sheela."[85] Gordon (1987) notes that Sheela and Osho had discussed the idea of establishing a new commune in the U.S. in late 1980, although he did not agree to travel there until May 1981.[77] Osho's previous secretary, Laxmi, reported to Frances FitzGerald that "she had failed to find a property in India adequate to [Osho's] needs, and thus, when the medical emergency came, the initiative had passed to Sheela."[83] Osho never sought outside medical treatment during his time in America, leading the Immigration and Naturalization Service to believe that he had a preconceived intent to remain there.[83] Osho later pleaded guilty to immigration fraud, including making false statements on his initial visa application.[nb 1][nb 2][nb 3]

Oregon commune: 1981–1985

On 13 June 1981, Sheela's husband bought, for US$5.75 million, a 64,229-acre (260 km2) ranch located across two Oregon counties (Wasco and Jefferson), previously known as "The Big Muddy Ranch".[86] The following month, work began on setting up the so-called Rancho Rajneesh commune; Osho moved there on 29 August.[87] The initial reactions of the host community ranged from hostility to tolerance, depending on the observer's distance from the ranch.[88] Within a year of arriving, Osho's followers had become embroiled in a series of legal battles with their neighbours, the principal conflict relating to land use.[89] In May 1982, the residents of Rancho Rajneesh voted to incorporate the city of Rajneeshpuram on the ranch.[89] The conflict with local residents escalated, with increasingly bitter hostility on both sides, and over the following years, the commune was subject to constant and coordinated pressures from various coalitions of Oregon residents.[89][90] For its own part, the commune leadership took an uncompromising and confrontational stance and behaved impatiently with locals.[91] Its behaviour was implicitly threatening, and the repeated changes in the commune's stated plans looked like conscious deception, whether they were or not.[91]

Osho greeted by sannyasins on one of his daily "drive-bys" in Rajneeshpuram, 1982.

Osho resided at Rajneeshpuram, living in a purpose-built trailer complex with an indoor swimming pool and other amenities. He did not lecture and only saw the majority of his followers on his daily drive-bys, when he would slowly drive past the long line of sannyasins waiting for him by the side of the road.[92] In this period, he gained notoriety for the large number of Rolls-Royce luxury cars[93] that his followers bought for his use, eventually numbering 93 vehicles.[94][95]

As part of his withdrawal from public life, Osho had given Ma Anand Sheela limited power of attorney in 1981, and removed the limits in 1982.[96] In 1983, Sheela announced that he would henceforth speak only with her.[97] He would later claim that she kept him in ignorance.[96] Many sannyasins expressed doubts about whether Sheela truly represented Osho.[98] An increasing number of dissidents left Rajneeshpuram, citing disagreements with Sheela's autocratic leadership style.[98]

Sannyasins who were not U.S. citizens found themselves in visa difficulties, which many tried to overcome by entering into marriages of convenience with American followers.[99] Osho himself had similar problems, which the commune tried to solve by declaring him the head of a religion called "Rajneeshism".[92] In November 1981, Osho applied for permission to reside in the country as a religious worker.[100] The application was refused on the grounds that he could not be leading a religion if he was unwell, and in a state of silence.[92][100] But the decision was later withdrawn, due to procedural violations.[101] The application for leave to stay as a religious leader was finally granted three years later, in 1984.[92]

The Oregon years saw an increased emphasis on Osho's prediction that the conventional world would destroy itself by nuclear war or other disasters sometime in the 1990s.[102] Osho had said as early as 1964 that "the third and last war is now on the way", and had commented in the intervening years on the need to create a "new humanity" to avoid global suicide.[103] By the early 1980s, this had become the basis for a new exclusivism, with a 1983 article in the Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter announcing that "Rajneeshism is creating a Noah's Ark of consciousness ... I say to you that except this there is no other way".[103] These warnings contributed to an increased sense of urgency in getting the Oregon commune established.[103] In March 1984, Sheela announced that Osho had predicted the death of two-thirds of humanity from AIDS.[103][104] As a precaution, sannyasins were required to wear rubber gloves and condoms while making love and to refrain from kissing.[105][106] The measures were widely seen as an extreme overreaction; AIDS was not considered a heterosexual disease at the time, and the use of condoms was not yet widely recommended for AIDS prevention.[107]

Osho ended his period of public silence on 30 October 1984, having announced that it was time for him to "speak his own truths."[108][109] In July 1985, he resumed his daily public discourses in the commune's 2-acre (8,100 m2) meditation hall. According to statements he made to the press, he did so against Sheela's wishes.[110] On 16 September 1985, a few days after Sheela and her entire management team had suddenly left the commune for Europe, Osho held a press conference in which he labelled Sheela and her associates a "gang of fascists."[111] He accused them of having committed a number of serious crimes, most of these dating back to 1984, and invited the authorities to investigate.[111] The alleged crimes, which he stated had been committed without his knowledge or consent, included the attempted murder of his personal physician, poisonings of public officials, wiretapping and bugging within the commune and within his own home, and a bioterror attack on the citizens of The Dalles, Oregon, using salmonella.[111] While his allegations were initially greeted with skepticism by outside observers,[112] the subsequent investigation by the U.S. authorities confirmed these accusations and resulted in the conviction of Sheela and several of her lieutenants.[113]

The salmonella attack was noted as the first confirmed instance of chemical or biological terrorism to have occurred in the United States.[114] Osho stated that because he was in silence and isolation, meeting only with Sheela, he was unaware of the crimes committed by the Rajneeshpuram leadership until Sheela and her "gang" left and sannyasins came forward to inform him.[115] A number of commentators have stated that in their view Sheela was being used as a convenient scapegoat.[115][116][117] Others have pointed to the fact that although Sheela had bugged Osho's living quarters and made her tapes available to the U.S. authorities as part of her own plea bargain, no evidence has ever come to light that Osho had any part in her crimes.[118][119][120]

Even though there was not enough evidence to bring charges against Osho, Gordon (1987) reports that Charles Turner, David Frohnmayer and other law enforcement officials who had surveyed affidavits that were never released publicly, and who had listened to the hundreds of hours of tape recordings that were retrieved from the ranch, insinuated to him that Osho was guilty of more crimes than those he was eventually prosecuted for.[121] Frohnmayer, who had written his Harvard honours thesis on Nietzsche and Lenin,[nb 4] asserted that Osho's philosophy was not "disapproving of poisoning", and that he felt he and Sheela had been "genuinely evil".[121] Turner, identifying himself as a born-again Christian, was no less emphatic, describing Osho's eyes as "luminous, almost with a satanic glow in them."[121]

During his residence in Rajneeshpuram, Osho dictated three books while undergoing dental treatment under the influence of nitrous oxide (laughing gas): Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Notes of a Madman, and Books I Have Loved.[122] Following her departure from Rajneeshpuram, Sheela stated in media interviews that Osho took sixty milligrams of Valium each day and was addicted to nitrous oxide.[123][124][125] Osho denied these charges when questioned about them by journalists.[123][126]

Rajneesh had applied for U.S. permanent residency as a religious teacher but on 30 September, 1985 he denied that he was a religious teacher.[127] On the same day, his disciples set fire to 5,000 copies of "Book of Rajneeshism", a 78-page compilation of his teachings[127] where Rajneesh had defined Rajneeshism as "a religionless religion".[128] He said he ordered the book-burning to rid the sect of the last traces of the influence of Ma Anand Sheela, his formal personal secretary. Sheela's robes were also "added to the bonfire".[127]

Arrest: 1985

Osho was issued a thirty-five-count indictment in Multnomah County, Oregon on 28 October 1985 for immigration violations, making false statements on his visa application. He agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and was deported from the United States

On 23 October 1985, a federal grand jury issued a thirty-five-count indictment charging Osho and several other disciples with conspiracy to evade immigration laws.[129] The indictment was returned in camera, but word was leaked to Osho's lawyer.[129] Negotiations to allow Osho to surrender to authorities in Portland if a warrant were issued failed.[129][130] Tension peaked amid rumours of a National Guard takeover, a planned violent arrest of Osho and fears of shooting.[131] Having listened to hundreds of hours of tape recordings that Sheela had made, law enforcement authorities later came to believe there was a plan to create a human wall of sannyasin women and children should authorities attempt to arrest their guru.[121] On 28 October 1985, Osho, his personal physician and a small number of sannyasins accompanying them were arrested without a warrant aboard a rented Learjet at a North Carolina airstrip; the group were en route to Bermuda to avoid prosecution according to federal authorities[132] ($58,000 in cash and 35 watches and bracelets worth $1 million were also found on the aircraft).[131][133][134] Osho had by all accounts been neither informed of the impending arrest nor of the reasons for the journey.[130]

Osho's imprisonment and transfer across the country took the form of a public spectacle – he was displayed in chains, held first in North Carolina, then Oklahoma, and finally in Portland.[135] Officials took the full ten days legally available to them to transfer him from North Carolina to Portland for arraignment.[135] After initially pleading not guilty to all charges and being released on bail, Osho, on the advice of his lawyers, entered an "Alford plea" – a type of guilty plea through which a suspect does not admit guilt, but does concede there is enough evidence to convict him – to one count of having concealed his intent to remain permanently in the U.S. at the time of his original visa application in 1981, and one count of conspiracy to have followers stay in the country illegally by having them enter into sham marriages.[136] Under the deal his lawyers made with the United States Attorney's office, he was given a 10-year suspended sentence, placed on five years' probation and ordered to pay $400,000 in fines and prosecution costs; in addition, he agreed to leave the United States and not to return for at least five years without the permission of the United States Attorney General.[8][113][134][137]

Travels and return to Pune: 1986–1990

After leaving the United States, Osho returned to India, landing in Delhi on November 17. On the day of his arrival, he was given a hero's welcome by his Indian disciples after returning from a U.S. jail and he denounced the United States saying the world must "put the monster America in its place" and that "Either America must be hushed up or America will be the end of the world."[138] He then travelled up to Himachal Pradesh where he stayed for six weeks. When his followers' visas were revoked by the government, he moved on to Kathmandu, Nepal. A few weeks later he moved on to Crete in Greece. After being arrested by the KYP, he flew to Geneva, Switzerland, who refused him entry. Then to Stockholm, Sweden, and to Heathrow, UK, which also refused entry. He flew to Canada next, which refused landing permission so they turned back to Shannon, Ireland in order to refuel. He was allowed to stay for two weeks, at the Limerick Hotel, on condition that he did not go out and did not give any talks. A visa was arranged for Uruguay, and they took off again, stopping at Madrid on the way, where the plane was surrounded by the Guardia Civil. The next stop was Dakar, Senegal where he was allowed to spend the night. The next day the party continued on to Recife, Brazil, and finally on to Montevideo, Uruguay. In Uruguay the group moved to a house at Punta del Este where Osho again began speaking to his followers. He had been granted a Uruguayan identity card, one-year provisional residency and a possibility of permanent residency. On June 19, for no official reason, Osho was 'invited to leave'. A two-week visa was arranged for Jamaica, but on arrival in Kingston, the police gave the group 12 hours to leave the country. After refuelling in Gander, Canada, (despite being refused permission) and again in Madrid, Spain, Osho returned to Mumbai, India, on July 30, 1986.[139][140]

In January 1987, Osho returned to his old ashram in Pune.[141][142] He now held daily evening discourses, although with interruptions due to intermittent ill health.[143][144] Publishing efforts and therapy courses quickly resumed as well, but in less controversial style than in previous years, and the ashram experienced a renewed period of expansion.[143][144] It now presented itself as a "Multiversity", a place where therapy was to function as a bridge to meditation.[144] Osho devised a number of new meditation techniques, among them the "Mystic Rose" method, and, after a gap of more than ten years, began to lead meditations personally again.[143][144] Among his followers, the previous preference for communal living styles receded, most of them preferring to live ordinary and independent lives in society.[145] The former red or orange dress code for sannyasins and the mala, which had both been optional for some time, were abandoned in 1987.[144]

In November 1987, Osho expressed his belief that his deteriorating health was the result of some form of poison administered to him by the U.S. authorities during the twelve days he was held without bail in various U.S. prisons.[146] His doctors hypothesised that he had been poisoned by radiation and thallium, and that he must have slept on his right side on a deliberately irradiated mattress, since his symptoms were concentrated on the right side of his body,[146] but Osho's followers presented no hard evidence in support of this theory.[147] Osho's former attorney, Philip J. Toelkes (Swami Prem Niren), also said that radiation poisoning was the cause of Osho's nausea, fatigue, pain in his extremities and a lack of resistance to infection, but conceded that no evidence had been found to support the notion that the United States government conspired to murder the guru. Toelkes' comments led U.S. attorney Charles H. Hunter to describe the allegations as "complete fiction", while others speculated that Osho's ill health might have stemmed from exposure to HIV.[84][148] A less conspiratorial explanation relates to the fact that Osho's chronic diabetes, in conjunction with the stress he had experienced, may have led to systematic physical deterioration.[149]

From early 1988, Osho's discourses focused exclusively on Zen.[143] In late December 1988, he said he no longer wished to be referred to as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and in February 1989 took the name Osho Rajneesh, shortened to just Osho in September 1989.[143][150] His health continued to weaken; he delivered his last public discourse in April 1989, and from then on only sat in silence with his followers.[146] The wearing of red robes – only while on ashram premises – was reintroduced in summer 1989, with white robes worn for meditation, and black robes worn by leaders of therapy groups.[144] Malas were not worn.[144] Shortly before his death, Osho believed that one or more audience members who attended evening meetings at the Pune ashram (now referred to as the White Robe Brotherhood) were subjecting him to some form of evil magic.[151][152] A search for protagonists was undertaken, but none could be found.[151][152] On January 19, 1990 Osho died, aged 58, with heart failure being the publicly reported cause. His ashes were placed in his newly built bedroom in one of the main buildings (LaoTsu House) at the Pune ashram. The epitaph reads, "OSHO. Never Born, Never Died. Only Visited this Planet Earth between Dec 11 1931 – Jan 19 1990."


Osho's teachings were delivered through his discourses. These were not presented in an academic setting, but were interspersed with jokes, and delivered with an oratory that many found spellbinding.[153][154] The emphasis of his teaching was not static but changed over time: Osho revelled in paradox and contradiction, making his work difficult to summarise.[155]

Osho spoke on all the major spiritual traditions, including Jainism, Hinduism, Hassidism, Tantrism, Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, the teachings of a variety of Eastern and Western mystics, and on sacred scriptures such as the Upanishads and the Guru Granth Sahib.[156] His thought was rooted in Hindu advaita, which considers all reality as being of a single divine essence.[157] In this worldview, the human experiences of separateness, duality and temporality are held to be a kind of dance or play of cosmic consciousness; everything within this playful existence is sacred, has absolute worth, and is an end in itself.[157] Besides Eastern religious traditions, Osho also drew on a wide and eclectic range of Western influences in his teaching.[156]

The influence of Heraclitus is traceable in Osho's view of the unity of opposites. The influence of Freud and Gurdjieff is traceable in Osho's view of man as a machine, condemned to the helpless acting out of unconscious, neurotic patterns.[155][158] His vision of the "new man" who transcends the constraints of convention is reminiscent of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.[159] His views on sexual liberation bear comparison to the thought of D. H. Lawrence.[160] And while his contemporary Jiddu Krishnamurti did not approve of Osho, there are clear similarities between their respective teachings.[155]

Ego and the mind

Osho taught that every human being is a potential Buddha, with the capacity for enlightenment.[161][162] According to him, everyone is capable of experiencing unconditional love and of responding rather than reacting to life, but he suggested that a person's ego usually prevents them from enjoying this experience.[161] The ego, in Osho's teaching, represents the social conditioning and constraints a person has accumulated since birth, creating false needs that are in conflict with the real self.[163] The problem, he said, is how to bypass the ego so that man's innate being can flower; how to move from the periphery to the centre.[161][163]

Osho views the mind first and foremost as a mechanism for survival, replicating behavioural strategies that have proved successful in the past.[161][163] But the mind's appeal to the past, he says, deprives human beings of the ability to live authentically in the present.[161][163] He argued that individuals are continually repressing their genuine emotions, shutting themselves off from joyful experiences that arise naturally when embracing the present moment: "The mind has no inherent capacity for joy. ... It only thinks about joy."[163][164] The result, he said, is that people poison themselves with all manner of neuroses, jealousies and insecurities.[165] In the case of sexual feelings, for example, Osho believed that repression only makes these feelings re-emerge in another guise, and that the end result was a society obsessed with sex.[165] Instead of suppressing, he argued, people should trust and accept themselves unconditionally.[163][164] This solution could not be intellectually understood, as the mind would only assimilate it as one more piece of information: instead, what was needed was meditation.[165]


According to Osho, meditation is not just a practice, but a state of awareness that can be maintained in every moment.[163][165] He maintained that it is this total awareness that awakens the individual from sleep, and from mechanical responses to stimuli, conditioned by beliefs and expectations.[163] Osho said he employed Western psychotherapy as a means of preparing for meditation – a way to become aware of one's mental and emotional hang-ups – and also introduced his own "Active Meditation" techniques, characterised by alternating stages of physical activity and silence.[166] He suggested more than a hundred meditation techniques in total.[166][167]

The most famous of these remains his first, known today as OSHO Dynamic Meditation.[166][167] This method has been described as a kind of microcosm of Osho's outlook.[167] The mediation is supposed to be performed with closed eyes (or blindfolded) and comprises five stages which are accompanied by music (except for stage 4).[168] In the first, the person engages in ten minutes of rapid breathing through the nose.[168] The second ten minutes are for catharsis: "[L]et whatever is happening happen. ... Laugh, shout, scream, jump, shake – whatever you feel to do, do it!"[166][168] For the next ten minutes, the person has to jump up and down with their arms raised, shouting Hoo! each time they land on the flats of their feet.[168][169] In the fourth, silent stage, the person is instructed to freeze, remaining completely motionless for fifteen minutes, and witnessing everything that is happening to them.[168][169] The last stage of the meditation consists of fifteen minutes of dancing and celebration.[168][169]

Osho also developed other active meditation techniques, like OSHO Kundalini Meditation and OSHO Nadabrahma Meditation, which are less animated, although they also include physical activity of one sort or another.[166] His final formal technique is called OSHO Mystic Rose, comprising three hours of laughing every day for the first week, three hours of weeping each day for the second, with the third week for silent meditation.[170] The result of these processes is said to be the experience of "witnessing", enabling the "jump into awareness".[166] Osho believed such cathartic methods were necessary, since it was very difficult for people of today to just sit and be in meditation. Once the methods had provided a glimpse of meditation, people would be able to use other methods without difficulty.[171]

Another key ingredient of his teaching was his own presence as a master: "A Master shares his being with you, not his philosophy. ... He never does anything to the disciple."[172] He delighted in being paradoxical and engaging in behaviour that seemed entirely at odds with traditional images of enlightened individuals; his early lectures in particular were famous for their humour and their refusal to take anything seriously.[172][173] All such behaviour, however capricious and difficult to accept, was explained as "a technique for transformation" to push people "beyond the mind."[172] The initiation he offered his followers was another such device: "... if your being can communicate with me, it becomes a communion. ... It is the highest form of communication possible: a transmission without words. Our beings merge. This is possible only if you become a disciple."[172] Ultimately though, as an explicitly "self-parodying" guru, Osho even deconstructed his own authority, declaring his teaching to be nothing more than a "game" or a joke.[173][174] He emphasised that anything and everything could become an opportunity for meditation.[172]

Renunciation and the "New Man"

Osho saw his sannyas as a totally new form of spiritual discipline, or one that had once existed but since been forgotten.[175] He felt that the traditional Hindu sannyas had turned into a mere system of social renunciation and imitation.[175] His neo-sannyas emphasised complete inner freedom and responsibility of the individual to himself, demanding no superficial behavioral changes, but a deeper, inner transformation.[175] Desires were to be transcended, accepted and surpassed rather than denied.[175] Once this inner flowering had taken place, even sex would be left behind.[175]

Osho said that he was "the rich man's guru" and taught that material poverty was not a genuine spiritual value.[176] He had himself photographed wearing sumptuous clothing and hand-made watches,[177] and while in Oregon drove a different Rolls-Royce each day – his followers reportedly wanted to buy him 365 of them, one for each day of the year.[94] Publicity shots of the Rolls-Royces (93 in the end) were sent to the press.[176][178] As a conscious display, they may have reflected both his enjoyment of wealth and his desire to provoke American sensibilities, much as he had enjoyed offending Indian sensibilities earlier.[176][179]

Osho hoped to create "a new man", combining the spirituality of Gautama Buddha with the zest for life embodied by Zorba the Greek in the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis: "He should be as accurate and objective as a scientist ... as sensitive, as full of heart, as a poet ... [and as] rooted deep down in his being as the mystic."[172][180] This new man, "Zorba the Buddha", should reject neither science nor spirituality, but embrace them both.[172] Osho believed humanity to be threatened with extinction due to over-population, impending nuclear holocaust, and diseases such as AIDS, and thought that many of society's ills could be remedied by scientific means.[172] The new man would no longer be trapped in institutions such as family, marriage, political ideologies, or religions.[173][181] In this respect, Osho is similar to other counter-culture gurus, and perhaps even certain postmodern and deconstructional thinkers.[173] His term the "new man" applied to men and women equally, whose roles he saw as complementary; indeed, most of his movement's leadership positions were held by women.[181]

Osho's "Ten Commandments"

In his early days as Acharya Rajneesh, a correspondent once asked Osho for his "Ten Commandments". In his letter of reply, Osho noted that it was a difficult matter, because he was against any kind of commandment, but "just for fun" agreed to set out the following:

  1. Never obey anyone's command unless it is coming from within you also.
  2. There is no God other than life itself.
  3. Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.
  4. Love is prayer.
  5. To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.
  6. Life is now and here.
  7. Live wakefully.
  8. Do not swim – float.
  9. Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.
  10. Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.

He underlined numbers 3, 7, 9 and 10.[182] The ideas expressed in these Commandments have remained a constant leitmotif in his movement.[182]

The Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune, India, attracts 200,000 visitors annually.[183]


While Osho's teachings met with strong rejection in his home country during his lifetime, there has been a change in Indian public opinion since Osho's death.[184] In 1991, an influential Indian newspaper counted Osho, along with figures such as Gautama Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, among the ten people who had most changed India's destiny; in Osho's case, by "liberating the minds of future generations from the shackles of religiosity and conformism."[185] Osho has found more acclaim in his homeland since his death than he ever did while alive.[5] At a celebration in 2006, marking the 75th anniversary of Osho's birth, Indian singer Wasifuddin Dagar said that Osho's teachings are "more pertinent in the current milieu than they were ever before."[186] In Nepal, there are 60 Osho centres with almost 45,000 initiated disciples (reported in 2008).[187] Osho's entire works have been placed in the Library of India's National Parliament in New Delhi.[184] Prominent figures such as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Indian Sikh writer Khushwant Singh have expressed their admiration for Osho.[188] The Bollywood actor and Osho disciple Vinod Khanna, who had worked as Osho's gardener in Rajneeshpuram, served as India's Minister of State for External Affairs from 2003 to 2004.[189][190]

Over 650 books[191] are credited to Osho, expressing his views on all facets of human existence.[192] Virtually all of them are renderings of his taped discourses.[192] His books are available in 55 different languages[193] and have entered best-seller lists in countries such as Italy and South Korea.[185] Internationally, after almost two decades of controversy and a decade of accommodation, Osho's movement has established itself in the market of new religions.[194] His followers have redefined his contributions, reframing central elements of his teaching so as to make them appear less controversial to outsiders.[194] Societies in North America and Western Europe have met them half-way, becoming more accommodating to spiritual topics such as yoga and meditation.[194] The Osho group runs stress management seminars for corporate clients such as IBM and BMW, with a reported (2000) revenue between $15 and $45 million annually in the U.S.[195][196]

Osho's ashram in Pune has become the Osho International Meditation Resort, one of India's main tourist attractions.[197] Describing itself as the Esalen of the East, it teaches a variety of spiritual techniques from a broad range of traditions and promotes itself as a spiritual oasis, a "sacred space" for discovering one's self and uniting the desires of body and mind in a beautiful resort environment.[6] According to press reports, it attracts some 200,000 people from all over the world each year;[183][188] prominent visitors have included politicians, media personalities and the Dalai Lama.[197] A negative result on an AIDS test is mandatory to enter the resort.[198]


Guru and cult leader

Osho is generally considered one of the most controversial spiritual leaders to have emerged from India in the twentieth century.[199] His message of sexual, emotional, spiritual, and institutional liberation, as well as the pleasure he took in causing offence, ensured that his life was surrounded by controversy.[181] Osho became known as the "sex guru" in India, and as the "Rolls-Royce guru" in the United States.[176] His movement was widely feared and loathed as a cult, in much the same way as Scientology or the Unification Church.[200] Like L. Ron Hubbard, Reverend Moon and other cult leaders, Osho was seen to live in ostentation and offensive opulence, while his followers might be at mere subsistence level.[200] According to the Indian sociologist Uday Mehta, his appeal to his Western disciples was based on his social experiments, which established a philosophical connection between the Eastern guru tradition and the Western growth movement.[199]

Appraisal as a thinker and speaker

There are widely diverging views on Osho's qualities as a thinker and speaker. Khushwant Singh, eminent author, historian and former editor of the Hindustan Times, has described him as "the most original thinker that India has produced: the most erudite, the most clearheaded and the most innovative".[201] In his view, Osho was a "free-thinking agnostic" who had the ability to explain the most abstract concepts in simple language, illustrated with witty anecdotes, who mocked gods, prophets, scriptures and religious practices and gave a totally new dimension to religion.[202] Osho's commentary on the Sikh scripture known as Japuji was hailed as the best available by Giani Zail Singh, the former President of India.[184]

The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has called Osho a "Wittgenstein of religions", ranking him as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century; in his view, Osho had performed a radical deconstruction of the word games played by the world's religions.[203] The American poet and Rumi translator Coleman Barks likened reading Osho's discourses to the "taste of fresh springwater."[204] The American author Tom Robbins, while stressing that he was not a disciple, expressed his conviction, based on reading Osho's books, that he was the 20th century's greatest spiritual teacher, and probably also one of the most maligned figures in history, given the amount of vicious propaganda and slanted reports published about him.[201]

During the early 1980s, a number of commentators in the popular press were dismissive of Osho.[205] The Australian critic and cynic Clive James scornfully referred to him as "Bagwash", likening the experience of listening to one of his discourses to sitting in a laundrette and watching "your underwear revolve soggily for hours while exuding grey suds. The Bagwash talks the way that looks."[205] James finished by saying that Osho was just a "rebarbative dingbat who manipulates the manipulatable".[205] Responding to an enthusiastic review of Osho's talks by Bernard Levin in The Times, Dominik Wujastyk, also writing in The Times, similarly expressed his opinion that the talk he heard while visiting the Pune ashram was of a very low standard, wearyingly repetitive and often factually wrong, and stated that he felt disturbed by the personality cult surrounding Osho.[205][206]

Osho attacked traditional concepts of nationalism, expressed undisguised contempt for politicians and poked fun at leading figures of various religions.[207] Religious leaders in turn found his arrogance unbearable.[208] His ideas on sex, marriage, family and relationships contradicted traditional views of these matters and aroused a great deal of anger and opposition around the world.[81][209]


A number of commentators have remarked upon Osho's charisma. Comparing Osho with Gurdjieff, Anthony Storr wrote that Osho was "personally extremely impressive", noting that "many of those who visited him for the first time felt that their most intimate feelings were instantly understood, that they were accepted and unequivocally welcomed rather than judged. [Osho] seemed to radiate energy and to awaken hidden possibilities in those who came into contact with him."[210] Many sannyasins have stated that hearing Osho speak, they "fell in love with him."[211][212] Susan J. Palmer noted that even critics attested to the power of his presence.[211] James S. Gordon, a psychiatrist and researcher, recalls inexplicably finding himself laughing like a child, hugging strangers and having tears of gratitude in his eyes after a single glance by Osho from within his passing Rolls-Royce.[213] Frances FitzGerald concluded upon listening to Osho in person that he was a brilliant lecturer, and expressed surprise at his talent as a comedian, which had not been apparent from reading his books, as well as the hypnotic quality of his talks, which had a profound effect on his audience.[214] Hugh Milne, an ex-follower, remembering his first meeting with Osho, writes of his feeling that there was far more than words passing between them: "There is no invasion of privacy, no alarm, but it is as if his soul is slowly slipping inside mine, and in a split second transferring vital information."[215]

Hugh B. Urban, Assistant Professor of Religion and Comparative Studies at Ohio State University, noted that Osho appeared to fit with Max Weber’s classical image of the charismatic figure, being held to possess "an extraordinary supernatural power or 'grace', which was essentially irrational and affective".[216] Moreover, Osho corresponded to Weber's pure charismatic type in rejecting all rational laws and institutions and claiming to subvert all hierarchical authority, even though the promise of absolute freedom inherent in this eventually resulted in new and more powerful forms of bureaucratic organisation and institutional control within the sannyasin community.[216]

Assessments by scholars of religion

Some scholars have suggested that Osho, like other charismatic leaders, may have had a narcissistic personality.[217][218][219] In his paper The Narcissistic Guru: A Profile of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Ronald O. Clarke, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Oregon State University, argued that Osho exhibited all the typical features of narcissistic personality disorder, such as a grandiose sense of self-importance and uniqueness; a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success; a need for constant attention and admiration; a set of characteristic responses to threats to self-esteem; disturbances in interpersonal relationships; a preoccupation with grooming combined with frequent resorting to prevarication or outright lying; and a lack of empathy.[219] Drawing on Osho's reminiscences of his childhood in his book Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, he suggested that Osho suffered from a fundamental lack of parental discipline, due to his growing up in the care of overindulgent grandparents.[219] Osho's self-avowed Buddha status, he concluded, was part of a delusional system associated with his narcissistic personality disorder; a condition of ego-inflation rather than egolessness.[219]

In questioning how the total corpus of Osho's work might be summarised, Bob Mullan, a sociologist from the University of East Anglia, stated in 1983: "It certainly is eclectic, a borrowing of truths, half-truths and occasional misrepresentations from the great traditions. It is also often bland, inaccurate, spurious and extremely contradictory."[220] He also acknowledged that Osho's range and imagination were second to none,[220] and that many of his statements were quite insightful and moving, perhaps even profound at times,[221] but what remained was essentially "a potpourri of counter-culturalist and post-counter-culturalist ideas" focusing on love and freedom, the need to live for the moment, the importance of self, the feeling of "being okay", the mysteriousness of life, the fun ethic, the individual's responsibility for their own destiny, and the need to drop the ego, along with fear and guilt.[222]

Writing in 1996, Hugh B. Urban similarly found Osho's teaching neither original nor especially profound, noting that most of its content had been borrowed from various Eastern and Western philosophies.[173] What he found most original about Osho was his keen commercial instinct or "marketing strategy", by which he was able to adapt his teachings to meet the changing desires of his audience,[173] a theme also picked up on by Gita Mehta in her book Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East.[223] In 2005, Urban observed that Osho had undergone a "remarkable apotheosis" after his return to India, and especially in the years since his death, going on to describe him as a powerful illustration of what F. Max Müller, over a century ago, called "that world-wide circle through which, like an electric current, Oriental thought could run to the West and Western thought return to the East."[224] By negating the dichotomy between spiritual and material desires, and reflecting the preoccupation with the body and sexuality characteristic of late capitalist consumer culture, Osho had apparently been able to create a spiritual path that was remarkably in tune with the socio-economic conditions of his time.[224]

Film about Osho

In October 1989 an Australian TV company, Vision Quest Films, produced a documentary on Osho called Rajneesh: Spiritual Terrorist.

See also


  1. ^ "His lawyers however, were already cutting a deal with the United States Attorney's office, and on November 14th he returned to Portland and pleaded guilty to two felonies: making false statements to the immigration authorities in 1981, and concealing his intent to reside in the United States." (FitzGerald 1986b, p. 111)
  2. ^ "The Bhagwan may also soon need his voice to defend himself on charges he lied on his original temporary-visa application: if the immigration service proves he never intended to leave, the Bhagwan could be deported." (Newsweek,Bhagwan's Realm: The Oregon cult with the leader with 90 golden Rolls Royces, December 3, 1984, United States Edition, National Affairs Pg. 34, 1915 words, Neal Karlen with Pamela Abramson in Rajneeshpuram.)
  3. ^ "Facing 35 counts of conspiring to violate immigration laws, the guru admitted two charges: lying about his reasons for settling in the U.S. and arranging sham marriages to help foreign disciples join him." (American Notes, Time Magazine, Monday, November 1985, available here)
  4. ^ "Frohnmayer ... saw in Rajneesh the same 'individual self-aggrandizement,' the same 'relativity of truth', the same 'disengagement from ethics', that he had discovered in Nietzsche's concept of Superman." (Gordon 1987, p. 210)


  1. ^ Official website. More information on Osho's teachings and meditations. Retrieved 24 June 2009
  2. ^ Die Tageszeitung interview dd. 13 June 2006, interview in Lettre International (German)
  3. ^ Heelas 1996, pp. 22, 40, 68, 72, 77, 95–96
  4. ^ Forsthoefel & Humes 2005, p. 177
  5. ^ a b Urban 2003, p. 242
  6. ^ a b Forsthoefel & Humes 2005, pp. 182–183
  7. ^ a b Joshi 1982, pp. 1–4
  8. ^ a b Latkin 1992, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 342
  9. ^ Staff. "Wasco County History". Oregon Historical County Records Guide (Oregon State Archives). http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/county/cpwascohome.html. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  10. ^ Staff (1990). "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh". Newsmakers 1990 (Gale Research): pp. Issue 2. 
  11. ^ a b Mullan 1983, pp. 10–11
  12. ^ Mangalwadi 1992, p. 88
  13. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 21
  14. ^ Mullan 1983, p. 11
  15. ^ Osho 1985, p. passim
  16. ^ a b Joshi 1982, pp. 22–25, 31, 45–48
  17. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 22
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j FitzGerald 1986a, p. 77
  19. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 23
  20. ^ Joshi 1982, p. 38
  21. ^ Süss 1996, p. 29
  22. ^ Carter 1990, p. 43
  23. ^ Joshi 1982, p. 50
  24. ^ Smarika, Sarva Dharma Sammelan, 1974, Taran Taran Samaj, Jabalpur
  25. ^ Interview with Howard Sattler, 6PR Radio, Australia, video available here
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  31. ^ a b c d Carter 1990, p. 44
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  45. ^ FitzGerald 1986a, p. 87
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  50. ^ Fox 2002, pp. 16–17
  51. ^ FitzGerald 1986a, pp. 82–83
  52. ^ a b Fox 2002, p. 18
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  54. ^ Aveling 1994, p. 192
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  56. ^ Mehta 1993, p. 93
  57. ^ Aveling 1994, p. 193
  58. ^ FitzGerald 1986a, p. 83
  59. ^ Maslin 1981
  60. ^ Karlen, N., Abramson, P.: Bhagwan's realm, in: Newsweek, December 3, 1984
  61. ^ Prasad 1978
  62. ^ Mehta 1994, pp. 36-38
  63. ^ a b c Carter 1990, p. 62
  64. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 84
  65. ^ a b Mitra, S., Draper, R., and Chengappa, R.: Rajneesh: Paradise lost, in: India Today, December 15, 1985
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  67. ^ Sam 1997, pp. 57–58, 80–83, 112–114
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  70. ^ Goldman 1991
  71. ^ a b Carter 1990, pp. 63–64
  72. ^ Times of India article dated 18 Nov. 2002
  73. ^ Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 143
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  77. ^ a b c d Gordon 1987, pp. 93–94
  78. ^ Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 147
  79. ^ Lewis & Petersen 2005, p. 124
  80. ^ Guru in Cowboy Country, in: Asia Week, July 29, 1983, pp. 26–36
  81. ^ a b Geist, William E. (1981-09-16). "Cult in Castle Troubling Montclair". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). http://www.nytimes.com/1981/09/16/nyregion/cult-in-castle-troubling-montclair.html. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
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  86. ^ Carter 1990, p. 133
  87. ^ Carter 1990, pp. 136–138
  88. ^ Abbott 1990, p. 79
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  90. ^ Carter 1987, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 215
  91. ^ a b Abbott 1990, p. 78
  92. ^ a b c d Fox 2002, p. 26
  93. ^ Wakin D. J., Rajneesh-Rolls Royce, Associated Press Writer, APpa 07/26 1407
  94. ^ a b The Hindu article dated 16 May 2004
  95. ^ Palmer 1988, p. 128, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 380
  96. ^ a b Palmer 1988, p. 127, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 378
  97. ^ FitzGerald 1986a, p. 94
  98. ^ a b FitzGerald 1986a, p. 93
  99. ^ Fox 2002, p. 25
  100. ^ a b Mullan 1983, p. 135
  101. ^ Mullan 1983, p. 136
  102. ^ Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 156
  103. ^ a b c d Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 157
  104. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 131
  105. ^ Palmer 1988, p. 129, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 382
  106. ^ Rajneesh Times, 16, 1st October, 1984:6
  107. ^ Palmer & Sharma 1993, pp. 155–158
  108. ^ Fox 2002, p. 27
  109. ^ Carter 1990, p. 209
  110. ^ Osho: The Last Testament, Vol. 2, Chapter 29 (transcript of interview with Stern magazine and ZDF TV, Germany)
  111. ^ a b c FitzGerald 1986b, p. 108
  112. ^ Martin, Douglas (1985-09-22). "Guru's Commune Roiled As Key Leader Departs". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). http://www.nytimes.com/1985/09/22/us/guru-s-commune-roiled-as-key-leader-departs.html. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  113. ^ a b Carter 1990, pp. 233–238
  114. ^ Carus 2002, p. 50
  115. ^ a b Mehta 1993, p. 118
  116. ^ Aveling 1994, p. 205
  117. ^ FitzGerald 1986b, p. 109
  118. ^ Aveling 1999, p. 17
  119. ^ Fox 2002, p. 50
  120. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 210
  121. ^ a b c d Gordon 1987, pp. 210, 241
  122. ^ Shunyo 1993, p. 74
  123. ^ a b Der Spiegel article dated 9 December 1985 (German)
  124. ^ Storr 1996, p. 59
  125. ^ Charlotte Observer article dated 4 November 1985
  126. ^ Osho: The Last Testament, Vol. 4, Chapter 19 (transcript of an interview with German magazine, Der Spiegel)
  127. ^ a b c Associated Press (October 2, 1985). "Guru's arrest not imminent". Spokane Chronicle: p. D6. 
  128. ^ Sally Carpenter Hale, Associated Press (October 1, 1985). "Rajneesh renouncing his cult's religion". The Ledger: p. 8A. 
  129. ^ a b c FitzGerald 1986b, p. 110
  130. ^ a b Carter 1990, p. 232
  131. ^ a b Palmer & Sharma 1993, p. 52
  132. ^ Associated Press (November 5, 1985). "Transfer delayed - Rajneesh to stay for another night in Oklahoma city". Spokane Chronicle: p. A2. 
  133. ^ Carter 1990, pp. 232, 233, 238
  134. ^ a b FitzGerald 1986b, p. 111
  135. ^ a b Carter 1990, pp. 234–235
  136. ^ Gordon 1987, pp. 199–201
  137. ^ AP (November 16, 1985). "Around the Nation; Guru's Disciples to Sell Some Commune Assets". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1985/11/16/us/around-the-nation-guru-s-disciples-to-sell-some-commune-assets.html. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  138. ^ "World must put U.S. 'monster' in its place, guru says". Chicago Tribune: p. 5. November 18, 1985. 
  139. ^ Carter 1990, p. 241
  140. ^ Shunyo 1993, pp. 121, 131, 151
  141. ^ Fox 2002, p. 29
  142. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 223
  143. ^ a b c d e Fox 2002, p. 34
  144. ^ a b c d e f g Aveling 1994, pp. 197–198
  145. ^ Fox 2002, pp. 32–33
  146. ^ a b c Fox 2002, pp. 35–36
  147. ^ Palmer & Sharma 1993, p. 148
  148. ^ Akre B. S.: Rajneesh Conspiracy, Associated Press Writer, Portland (APwa 12/15 1455)
  149. ^ Fox 2002, p. 36
  150. ^ Süss 1996, p. 30
  151. ^ a b Fox 2002, p. 37
  152. ^ a b Shunyo 1993, pp. 252–253
  153. ^ Fox 2002, pp. 1–2
  154. ^ Mullan 1983, p. 1
  155. ^ a b c Fox 2002, p. 1
  156. ^ a b Mullan 1983, p. 33
  157. ^ a b Carter 1990, p. 267
  158. ^ Prasad 1978, pp. 14–17
  159. ^ Carter 1987, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 209
  160. ^ Carter 1990, p. 50
  161. ^ a b c d e Fox 2002, p. 3
  162. ^ Urban 1996, p. 171
  163. ^ a b c d e f g h Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 130–133
  164. ^ a b Fox 2002, pp. 3–4
  165. ^ a b c d Fox 2002, p. 4
  166. ^ a b c d e f Fox 2002, p. 5
  167. ^ a b c Urban 1996, p. 172
  168. ^ a b c d e f Gordon 1987, pp. 3–8
  169. ^ a b c Osho: Meditation: The First and Last Freedom, p. 35
  170. ^ Aveling 1994, p. 198
  171. ^ Interview with Riza Magazine, Italy, video available here
  172. ^ a b c d e f g h Fox 2002, p. 6
  173. ^ a b c d e f Urban 1996, p. 169
  174. ^ Urban 1996, p. 170
  175. ^ a b c d e Aveling 1994, p. 86
  176. ^ a b c d Gordon 1987, p. 114
  177. ^ Times of India article dated 3 Jan. 2004
  178. ^ FitzGerald 1986a, p. 47
  179. ^ Lewis & Petersen 2005, p. 129
  180. ^ Urban 1996, p. 175
  181. ^ a b c Fox 2002, p. 7
  182. ^ a b Lewis & Petersen 2005, pp. 128–129
  183. ^ a b "Osho? Oh No!". http://www.wweek.com/html/urbanpulse020200.html. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  184. ^ a b c Bombay High Court tax judgment, sections 12–14
  185. ^ a b Fox 2002, p. 42
  186. ^ In memoriam, The Hindu, 23 Sep. 2006
  187. ^ News Post India article dated 19 January 2008
  188. ^ a b San Francisco Chronicle article dated 29 Aug. 2004
  189. ^ The Tribune article dated 25 July 2002 (8th from the top)
  190. ^ Lok Sabha: Parliamentary Biography for Vinod Khanna
  191. ^ Süss 1996, p. 45
  192. ^ a b Carter 1987, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 182, 189
  193. ^ Tehelka article dated 30 June 2007
  194. ^ a b c Lewis & Petersen 2004, p. 120
  195. ^ Carrette & King 2004, p. 154
  196. ^ Heelas 1996, p. 63
  197. ^ a b Fox 2002, p. 41
  198. ^ Osho Meditation Resort Website FAQ
  199. ^ a b Mehta 1993, p. 133
  200. ^ a b Galanter 1989, pp. 95–96, 102
  201. ^ a b Bhawuk 2003, p. 14
  202. ^ Khushwant Singh, writing in the Indian Express, December 25, 1988, quoted e.g. here
  203. ^ Sloterdijk 1996, p. 105
  204. ^ Introduction to Osho's book Just like that
  205. ^ a b c d Mullan 1983, pp. 8–9
  206. ^ Obituary of Bernard Levin in The Daily Telegraph dated 10 August 2004
  207. ^ Joshi 1982, p. 1
  208. ^ Mehta 1993, p. 83
  209. ^ Joshi 1982, p. 2
  210. ^ Storr 1996, p. 47
  211. ^ a b Palmer 1988, p. 122, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 368
  212. ^ Mullan 1983, p. 67
  213. ^ Gordon 1987, p. 109
  214. ^ FitzGerald 1986b, p. 106
  215. ^ Milne 1986, p. 48
  216. ^ a b Urban 1996, p. 168
  217. ^ Storr 1996, p. 50
  218. ^ Huth 1993, pp. 204–226
  219. ^ a b c d Clarke 1988, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 55–89
  220. ^ a b Mullan 1983, p. 48
  221. ^ Mullan 1983, p. 32
  222. ^ Mullan 1983, pp. 48, 89–90
  223. ^ Mehta 1994
  224. ^ a b Forsthoefel & Humes 2005, pp. 183–185


  • Abbott, Carl (1990), "Utopia and Bureaucracy: The Fall of Rajneeshpuram, Oregon", The Pacific Historical Review 59 (1): Pages 77–103. 
  • Aveling, Harry (ed.) (1999), Osho Rajneesh and His Disciples: Some Western Perceptions, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1599-8 . (Includes studies by Susan J. Palmer, Lewis F. Carter, Roy Wallis, Carl Latkin, Ronald O. Clarke and others previously published in various academic journals.)
  • Bhawuk, Dharm P. S. (2003), "Culture’s influence on creativity: the case of Indian spirituality", International Journal of Intercultural Relations 27 (1): Pages 1–22, doi:10.1016/S0147-1767(02)00059-7 .
  • Carter, Lewis F. (1987), "The "New Renunciates" of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Observations and Identification of Problems of Interpreting New Religious Movements", Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 26 (2): Pages 148–172, doi:10.2307/1385791 , reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 175–218.
  • Carrette, Jeremy; King, Richard (2004), Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion, New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-41530-209-9 .
  • Carter, Lewis F. (1990), Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpuram: A Community without Shared Values, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-38554-7 .
  • Clarke, Ronald O. (1988), "The Narcissistic Guru: A Profile of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh", Free Inquiry (Spring 1988): Pages 33–35, 38–45 , reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 55–89.
  • Forsthoefel, Thomas A.; Humes, Cynthia Ann (eds.) (2005), Gurus in America, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-6574-8 .
  • Fox, Judith M. (2002), Osho Rajneesh – Studies in Contemporary Religion Series, No. 4, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-156-2 .
  • Galanter, Marc (ed.) (1989), Cults and New Religious Movements: A Report of the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Publishers, ISBN 0890422125 .
  • Goldman, Marion S. (1991), "Reviewed Work(s): Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpuram: The Role of Shared Values in the Creation of a Community by Lewis F. Carter", Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 30 (4): 557–558, doi:10.2307/1387299 .
  • Gordon, James S. (1987), The Golden Guru, Lexington, MA: The Stephen Greene Press, ISBN 0-8289-0630-0 .
  • Heelas, Paul (1996), The New Age Movement: Religion, Culture and Society in the Age of Postmodernity, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-19332-4 .
  • Huth, Fritz-Reinhold (1993), Das Selbstverständnis des Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in seinen Reden über Jesus, Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Peter Lang GmbH (Studia Irenica, vol. 36), ISBN 3-631-45987-4  (German).
  • Joshi, Vasant (1982), The Awakened One, San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, ISBN 0-06-064205-X .
  • Latkin, Carl A. (1992), "Seeing Red: A Social-Psychological Analysis", Sociological Analysis 53 (3): Pages 257–271, doi:10.2307/3711703 , reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 337–361.
  • Lewis, James R.; Petersen, Jesper Aagaard (eds.) (2005), Controversial New Religions, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 019515682X .
  • Mehta, Gita (1994), Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East, New York: Vintage, ISBN 0679754334 .
  • Mehta, Uday (1993), Modern Godmen in India: A Sociological Appraisal, Mumbai: Popular Prakashan, ISBN 81-7154-708-7 .
  • Meredith, George (1988), Bhagwan: The Most Godless Yet the Most Godly Man, Pune: Rebel Publishing House  (By Osho's personal physician.)
  • Milne, Hugh (1986), Bhagwan: The God That Failed, London: Caliban Books, ISBN 0-85066-006-9 . (By Osho's one-time bodyguard.)
  • Osho (2000), Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin, ISBN 0-312-25457-1 .
  • Osho (1985), Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Rajneeshpuram: Rajneesh Foundation International, ISBN 0-88050-715-2 ; Rebel Publishing House edition (1998) ISBN 81-7261-072-6.
  • Palmer, Susan J. (1988), "Charisma and Abdication: A Study of the Leadership of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh", Sociological Analysis 49 (2): Pages 119–135, doi:10.2307/3711009 , reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 363–394.
  • Palmer, Susan J.; Sharma, Arvind (eds.) (1993), The Rajneesh Papers: Studies in a New Religious Movement, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1080-5 .
  • Shunyo, Ma Prem (1993), My Diamond Days with Osho: The New Diamond Sutra, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1111-9 .
  • Sloterdijk, Peter (1996), Selbstversuch: Ein Gespräch mit Carlos Oliveira, München, Wien: Carl Hanser Verlag, ISBN 3-446-18769-3  (German).
  • Süss, Joachim (1996), Bhagwans Erbe: Die Osho-Bewegung heute, Munich: Claudius Verlag, ISBN 3-532-64010-4  (German).
  • Urban, Hugh B. (1996), "Zorba The Buddha: Capitalism, Charisma and the Cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh", Religion 26 (2): Pages 161–182, doi:10.1006/reli.1996.0013 .
  • Wallis, Roy (1986), "Religion as Fun? The Rajneesh Movement", Sociological Theory, Religion and Collective Action (Queen's University, Belfast): Pages 191–224 , reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 129–161.

Further reading

  • Appleton, Sue (1987), Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: The Most Dangerous Man Since Jesus Christ, Cologne: Rebel Publishing House, ISBN 3-89338-001-9 .
  • Belfrage, Sally (1981), Flowers of Emptiness: Reflections on an Ashram, New York, NY: Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-27162-X .
  • Bharti, Ma Satya (1981), Death Comes Dancing: Celebrating Life With Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, London, Boston, MA and Henley: Routledge, ISBN 0-7100-0705-1 .
  • Bharti Franklin, Satya (1992), The Promise of Paradise: A Woman's Intimate Story of the Perils of Life With Rajneesh, Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, ISBN 0-88268-136-2 .
  • Braun, Kirk (1984), Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society, West Linn, OR: Scout Creek Press, ISBN 0-930219-00-7 .
  • Brecher, Max (1993), A Passage to America, Mumbai, India: Book Quest Publishers .
  • Forman, Juliet (1991), Bhagwan: One Man Against the Whole Ugly Past of Humanity, Cologne: Rebel Publishing House, ISBN 3-893-38103-1 .
  • Goldman, Marion S. (1999), Passionate Journeys – Why Successful Women Joined a Cult, The University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0472111019 
  • Guest, Tim (2005), My Life in Orange: Growing up with the Guru, London: Granta Books, ISBN 1-862-07720-7 .
  • Gunther, Bernard (Swami Deva Amit Prem) (1979), Dying for Enlightenment: Living with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, New York, NY: Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-063527-4 .
  • Hamilton, Rosemary (1998), Hellbent for Enlightenment: Unmasking Sex, Power, and Death With a Notorious Master, Ashland, OR: White Cloud Press, ISBN 1-883991-15-3 .
  • McCormack, Win (1985), Oregon Magazine: The Rajneesh Files 1981-86, Portland, OR: New Oregon Publishers, Inc. 
  • Palmer, Susan Jean (1994), Moon Sisters, Krishna Mother, Rajneesh Lovers: Women's Roles in New Religions, Syracuse University Press, ISBN 9-780815-602972 
  • Quick, Donna (1995), A Place Called Antelope: The Rajneesh Story, Ryderwood, WA: August Press, ISBN 0-9643118-0-1 .
  • Shay, Theodore L. (1985), Rajneeshpuram and the Abuse of Power, West Linn, OR: Scout Creek Press .
  • Thompson, Judith; Heelas, Paul (1986), The Way of the Heart: The Rajneesh Movement, Wellingborough, UK: The Aquarian Press (New Religious Movements Series), ISBN 0-85030-434-2 .

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I am the white cloud, and the whole effort is to make you also white clouds drifting in the sky. Nowhere to go, coming from nowhere, just being there this very moment – perfect.

Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) (11 December 193119 January 1990) was an Indian spiritual teacher. Better known during the 1970s and 1980s as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, he inspired a controversial spiritual movement in India, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, and many other countries.



No, explanation is not needed – only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberates.
  • One has to reach to the absolute state of awareness: that is Zen. You cannot do it every morning for a few minutes or for half an hour and then forget all about it. It has to become like your heartbeat. You have to sit in it, you have to walk in it. Yes, you have even to sleep in it.
    • Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen (1982) ISBN 0880506687
  • I am the rich man's guru.
    • The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986) ISBN 0880502509
  • I would like that what I am doing is not lost. So I am trying in every possible way to drop all those things which in the past have been barriers for the revolution to continue and grow. I don't want anybody to stand between the individual and existence. No prayer, no priest... you alone are enough to face the sunrise, you don't need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is... And this is my attitude: you are here, every individual is here, the whole existence is available. All that you need is just to be silent and listen to existence. There is no need of any religion, there is no need of any God, there is no need of any priesthood, there is no need of any organization. I trust in the individual categorically. Nobody up to now has trusted in the individual in such a way.
    • The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986)
  • Buddha declared before his death that he would be coming again after twenty-five centuries, and that his name would be Maitreya. Maitreya means the friend. Buddhas don't come back; no enlightened person ever comes back, so it is just a way of saying... What he was saying is of tremendous importance. It has nothing to do with his coming back; he cannot come back. What he meant was that the ancient relationship between the Master and the disciple would become irrelevant in twenty-five centuries. It was his clarity of perception – he was not predicting anything – just his clarity to see that as things are changing, as they have changed in the past and as they go on changing, it would take at least twenty-five centuries for the Master and disciple relationship to become out of date. Then the enlightened Master will be only the friend. I had always wanted not to be a Master to anybody. But people want a Master, they want to be disciples; hence, I played the role. It is time that I should say to you that now many of you are ready to accept me as the friend. Those who are in tune with me continuously, without any break, are the only real friends...
    • The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986) ISBN 0880502509
  • I have never been a celibate. If people believe so, that is their foolishness. I have always loved women – and perhaps more women than anybody else. You can see my beard: it has become grey so quickly because I have lived so intensely that I have compressed almost two hundred years into fifty.
    • The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986)
  • It was good of Friedrich Nietzsche to declare God dead – I declare that he has never been born. It is a created fiction, an invention, not a discovery. Do you understand the difference between invention and discovery? A discovery is about truth, an invention is manufactured by you. It is man-manufactured fiction. Certainly it has given consolation, but consolation is not the right thing! Consolation is opium. It keeps you unaware of the reality, and life is flowing past you so quickly – seventy years will be gone soon. Anybody who gives you a belief system is your enemy, because the belief system becomes the barrier for your eyes, you cannot see the truth. The very desire to find the truth disappears. But in the beginning it is bitter if all your belief systems are taken away from you. The fear and anxiety which you have been suppressing for millennia, which is there, very alive, will surface immediately. No God can destroy it, only the search for truth and the experience of truth – not a belief – is capable of healing all your wounds, of making you a whole being. And the whole person is the holy person to me.
  • I believe and trust absolutely in existence. If there is any truth in what I am saying, it will survive. The people who remain interested in my work will be simply carrying the torch, but not imposing anything on anyone, either by sword or bread. I will remain a source of inspiration to my people and that is what most sannyasins will feel. I want them to grow on their own. Qualities like love, around which no church can be created, like awareness, qualities which are nobody's monopoly, like celebration, rejoicing, and maintaining childlike fresh eyes. I want people to know themselves, not to be according to someone else, and the way is in.
    • Italian TV Interview (1989)
  • Just a few days ago a man came to see me and he said, "I am a humble man. I am just like the dust on your feet. I have been trying for almost twenty years to achieve higher consciousness, but I have been a failure. Why can't I attain?" And on and on he went. Every sentence started with I. If the grammar allowed, every sentence would have ended with I. And if everything was allowed, every sentence would have consisted only of I's. "I etcetera, I etcetera, I etcetera," it went on and on. You are filled too much. There is no room, no space for God to enter in you. You are too crowded. A thousand I's milling inside – they don't leave any space for anything to enter in you.
    • Just Like That: Talks on Sufism (1993) ISBN 3893381139
  • Tao mystics never talk about God, reincarnation, heaven, hell. No, they don't talk about these things. These are all creations of human mind: explanations for something which can never be explained, explanations for the mystery. In fact, all explanations are against God because explanation de-mystifies existence. Existence is a mystery, and one should accept it as a mystery and not pretend to have any explanation. No, explanation is not needed – only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberates.
    • Never Born, Never Died (2002) ISBN 81-7621-121-4
  • It is not decided by votes what is true; otherwise we could never come to any truth, ever. People will vote for what is comfortable – and lies are very comfortable because you don't have to do anything about them, you just have to believe. Truth needs great effort, discovery, risk, and it needs you to walk alone on a path that nobody has traveled before.
    • Your Answers Questioned (2003)
  • Whenever I meet prostitutes, they never speak of sex. They inquire about the soul, and about God. I also meet many ascetics and monks, and whenever we are alone they ask about nothing but sex. I was surprised to learn that ascetics, who are always preaching against sex, seem to be captivated by it. They are curious about it and disturbed by it; they have this mental complex about it, yet they sermonize about religion and about the animal instincts in man. And sex is so natural.
    • From Sex to Superconsciousness
  • I am not a man of etiquette, I don't know manners. I simply call a spade a fucking spade, because that's what it is.
    • From Darkness to Light
  • Nobody can teach you love. Love you have to find yourself, within your being, by raising your consciousness to higher levels. And when love comes, there is no question of responsibility. You do things because you enjoy doing them for the person you love. You are not obliging the person, you are not even wanting anything in return, not even gratitude. On the contrary, you are grateful that the person has allowed you to do something for him. It was your joy, sheer joy. Love knows nothing of responsibility. It does many things, it is very creative; it shares all that it has, but it is not a responsibility, remember. Responsibility is an ugly word in comparison to love. Love is natural. Responsibility is created by the cunning priests, politicians who want to dominate you in the name of God, in the name of the nation, in the name of family, in the name of religion -- any fiction will do. But they don't talk about love. On the contrary, they are all against love, because love is unable to be controlled by them. A man of love acts out of his own heart, not according to any moral code. A man of love will not join the army because it is his responsibility to fight for his nation. A man of love will say there are no nations, and there is no question of any fight.
    • Sat Chit Anand
  • ... any mundane activity can become meditative. Digging a hole in the garden, planting new roses in the garden – you can do it with such tremendous love and compassion, you can do it with the hands of a buddha. There is no contradiction ... I say unto you, your every act should be a ceremony. If you can bring your consciousness, your awareness, your intelligence to the act, if you can be spontaneous, then there is no need for any other religion: life itself will be the religion.
    • Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen
  • Be realistic: Plan for a miracle.
    • Ancient Music in the Pines
  • I do not ordinarily make prophecies, but about this I am absolutely prophetic: the coming hundred years are going to be more and more irrational, and more and more mystical. The second thing: After a hundred years people will be perfectly able to understand why I was misunderstood – because I am the beginning of the mystical, the irrational. I am a discontinuity with the past. The past cannot understand me; only the future will understand. The past can only condemn me. It cannot understand me, it cannot answer me, it cannot argue with me; it can only condemn me. Only the future … as man becomes more and more available to the mysterious, to the meaningless yet significant … After a hundred years they will understand. Because the more man becomes aware of the mysterious side of life, the less he is political; the less he is a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian; the less is the possibility for his being a fanatic. A man in tune with the mysterious is humble, loving, caring, accepting the uniqueness of everybody. He is rejoicing in the freedom of each individual, because only with freedom can this garden of humanity be a rich place.
    • The Osho Upanishad
  • My whole teaching consists of two words, meditation and love. Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, if you can move without any effort, you have learned the greatest thing in life.
    • Come, Come, Yet Again Come
  • Ecstasy is our very nature, not to be ecstatic is simply unnecessary. To be ecstatic is natural, spontaneous. It needs no effort to be ecstatic, it needs great effort to be miserable. That's why you look so tired, because misery is real hard work; to maintain it is really difficult, because you are doing something against the nature. You are going upstream – that's what misery is.
    • The Book of Wisdom
  • Remain in wonder if you want mysteries to open up for you. Mysteries never open up for those who go on questioning. Questioners sooner or later end up in a library. They end up with scriptures, because scriptures are full of answers. And answers are dangerous, they kill your wonder.
    • The Book of Wisdom
  • All the Buddhas of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be – don't try to become. Within these two words – being and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.
    • The Book of Wisdom
  • The longer a person has been dead the greater is the tradition ... If Buddha is alive you can barely tolerate him. ... You cannot believe this man has known the ultimate because he looks just like you ... Hungry he needs food, sleepy he wants a bed, ill, he has to rest – just like you ... That is why Jesus is worshipped now and yet he was crucified when he was alive. Alive, you crucify him; dead, you worship him.
    • When the Shoe Fits
  • You say that in heaven there is eternal beauty. The eternal beauty is here and now, not in heaven.
    • When the Shoe Fits
  • When I am gone I hope there may still be courageous people in the world to criticize me, so that I don't become a hindrance on anybody's path. And those who will criticize me will not be my enemies; neither am I the enemy of those whom I have criticized. The working of the enlightened masters just has to be understood.
    • Satyam Shivam Sundaram
  • You must have heard about the beautiful Sufi legend of Majnu and Laila. It is not an ordinary love story. The word majnu means mad, mad for God. And laila is the symbol of God. Sufis think of God as the beloved; laila means the beloved. Everybody is a Majnu, and God is the beloved. And one has to open one’s heart, the eye of the heart.
    • Sufis, The People of the Path, Vol. 1
  • I have withdrawn the red dress, the mala, because thousands of people wanted to be sannyasins but just because of the clothes and the mala they felt difficulties in the world – their job, their family, their wife, their parents, their friends – and it was too much of a trouble. I have withdrawn everything. Now whatsoever remains is something inner which neither the wife can detect nor the father nor the job nor the friends.
    • The Last Testament, Vol. 3
  • Nature has come to a point where now, unless you take individual responsibility, you cannot grow. More than this nature cannot do. It has done enough. It has given you life, it has given you opportunity; now how to use it, it has left up to you. Meditation is your freedom, not a biological necessity. You can learn in a certain period of time every day to strengthen meditation, to make it stronger – but carry the flavor of it the whole day.
    • Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram

The Discipline Of Transcendence (1978)

ISBN 088050045X
  • Just before twenty-first March, 1953, seven days before, I stopped working on myself. A moment comes when you see the whole futility of effort. You have done all that you can do and nothing is happening. You have done all that is humanly possible. Then what else can you do? In sheer helplessness one drops all search. And the day the search stopped, the day I was not seeking for something, the day I was not expecting something to happen, it started happening. A new energy arose – out of nowhere. It was not coming from any source. It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air – it was everywhere. And I was seeking so hard, and I was thinking it is very far away. And it was so near and so close.
  • Near about twelve my eyes suddenly opened – I had not opened them. The sleep was broken by something else. I felt a great presence around me in the room. It was a very small room. I felt a throbbing life all around me, a great vibration – almost like a hurricane, a great storm of light, joy, ecstasy. I was drowning in it. It was so tremendously real that everything became unreal. The walls of the room became unreal, the house became unreal, my own body became unreal. Everything was unreal because now there was for the first time reality.
  • The whole day was strange, stunning, and it was a shattering experience. The past was disappearing, as if it had never belonged to me, as if I had read about it somewhere, as if I had dreamed about it, as if it was somebody else's story I have heard and somebody told it to me. I was becoming loose from my past, I was being uprooted from my history, I was losing my autobiography. I was becoming a non-being, what Buddha calls anatta. Boundaries were disappearing, distinctions were disappearing.

Tantra: the Supreme Understanding (1984)

ISBN 81-216-0695-0
"If you really want to know who I am, you have to be as absolutely empty as I am. Then two mirrors will be facing each other, and only emptiness will be mirrored. Infinite emptiness will be mirrored: two mirrors facing each other. But if you have some idea, then you will see your own idea in me." – Osho: Come Follow To You, Vol. 2, Chapter 4
  • Don't say this is good and that is bad. Drop all discrimination. Accept everything as it is.
  • Liberation cannot be desired because desire is the bondage. When you are desireless, you are liberated.
  • Tantra accepts everything, lives everything. That's why tantra never could become a very accepted ideology. It always remained a fringe ideology.
  • Tantra is a great yea-sayer; it says yes to everything.
  • Tantra says there is nobody above you whom you have to follow, through whom you have to get your pattern.
  • The ordinary society is like a paperweight on you: it won't allow you to fly.
  • The tantra masters are simply wild flowers, they have everything in them.
  • When you are no more, only then for the first time will you be.

My Way: The Way of the White Clouds (1995)

ISBN 3893380574
  • Find moments when you are not, and those will be the moments when you will be for the first time...really. So I am the white cloud, and the whole effort is to make you also white clouds drifting in the sky. Nowhere to go, coming from nowhere, just being there this very moment – perfect. I don't teach you any ideals, I don't teach you any oughts. I don't say to you be this, become that. My whole teaching is simply this: Whatsoever you are, accept it so totally that nothing is left to be achieved, and you will become a white cloud.
  • Look for the mysterious in life. Wherever you look – in the white clouds, in the stars in the night, in the flowers, in a flowing river – wherever you look, look for the mystery. And whenever you find that a mystery is there, meditate on it. Meditation means: dissolve yourself before that mystery, annihilate yourself before that mystery, disperse yourself before that mystery. Be no more, and let the mystery be so total that you are absorbed in it. And suddenly a new door opens, a new perception is achieved.
  • Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground. Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened in new subtle ways. This is something basic to be understood: the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity – only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved.

Quotes about Rajneesh/Osho

  • Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, given a hero's welcome by his Indian disciples after returning from a U.S. jail, denounced the United States Sunday and said the world must "put the monster America in its place."
    "The real enemy is no more the Soviet Union, it is America," said the 53-year-old guru, who returned to New Delhi after pleading guilty to violating U.S. immigration laws by arranging sham marriages so his followers could stay in the U.S.
    In his first press conference since he was arrested last month in Charlotte, N.C., Rajneesh declared, "Either America must be hushed up or America will be the end of the world."
    • Quotes from an Associated Press report on Rajneesh return to India from the United States on 17 November 1985, published as "World must put U.S. 'monster' in its place, guru says" in the Chicago Tribune (18 November 1985), p. 5

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