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Rajneesh (Osho)

Birth name Chandra Mohan Jain

Born 11 December 1931
Kuchwada, Bhopal State, British Raj
(now Madhya Pradesh, India)
Died 19 January 1990 (aged 58)
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
Field Spirituality, Mysticism
Training University of Sagar
Movement Jivan Jagriti Andolan; Neo-sannyas
Works Over 600 books, several thousand
audio and video discourses
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chandra Mohan Jain
( pronunciation ; 11 December
1931 19 January 1990), also
known as Acharya Rajneesh
from the 1960s onwards, as
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
( pronunciation ) during the
1970s and 1980s, and as Osho
from 1989, was an Indian mystic,
guru and spiritual teacher. His
international following has
continued beyond his death.
A professor of philosophy, he
travelled throughout India during
the 1960s as a public speaker. His
outspoken criticism of politicians
and the political mind, Mahatma
Gandhi and institutionalised
religion made him controversial.
He advocated a more open
attitude towards sexuality, a
stance which earned him the sobriquet of "sex guru" in the Indian and (later)
international press.
In 1970 Rajneesh settled for a time in Bombay, initiating
disciples (known as neo-sannyasins) and assuming the role of spiritual teacher. In
his discourses he reinterpreted the writings of religious traditions, mystics and
philosophers from around the world. Moving to Pune in 1974, he established an
ashram which attracted a growing number of Westerners. The ashram oered
therapies derived from the Human Potential Movement to its Western audience
and made news in India and abroad because of its permissive climate and
Rajneesh's provocative lectures. By the late 1970s, tensions were mounting with
the Indian government and the surrounding society.
In mid-1981, Rajneesh relocated to the United States, where his followers
established an intentional community (later known as Rajneeshpuram) near
Antelope, Oregon south of The Dalles, Oregon. Almost immediately, the
commune's leadership became embroiled in conicts with local residents
(primarily over land use), which were marked by hostility on both sides. The large
number of Rolls-Royce cars purchased for Rajneesh's use by his followers also
attracted criticism. The Oregon commune collapsed in 1985 when Rajneesh
revealed that the commune leadership had committed a number of serious
crimes, including a bioterror attack (food contamination) on the citizens of The
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He was arrested shortly afterwards, and charged with immigration
violations. Rajneesh was deported from the United States in accordance with a
plea bargain.
Twenty-one countries denied him entry, causing Rajneesh to
travel the world before returning to Pune, where he died in 1990.
Rajneesh's ashram in Pune is today known as the Osho International Meditation
Resort. His syncretic teachings emphasise the importance of meditation,
awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity and humour: qualities which he
viewed as suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition
and socialisation. Rajneesh's teachings have had a notable inuence on Western
spirituality, as well as New Age thought.
Their popularity has increased since
his death.
1 Childhood and adolescence: 19311950
2 University years and public speaking: 19511970
3 Bombay: 19701974
4 Pune ashram: 19741981
5 U.S. years: 19811985
6 1984 bioterror attack
7 Travels and return to Pune: 19851990
8 Teachings
8.1 Ego and the mind
8.2 Meditation
8.3 Sannyas
8.4 Renunciation and the "new man"
8.5 The "ten commandments"
8.6 Euthanasia and Eugenics
8.7 Jewish "guilt", the Holocaust and the gas chambers' "holy smoke"
8.8 Homosexuality as perversion; segregation and relocation of
8.9 Legacy
9 Appraisal
9.1 By religious scholars
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9.2 As charismatic leader
9.3 As philosopher and orator
9.4 Films about Rajneesh
10 Selected works
11 See also
12 Notes
13 Citations
14 Bibliography
14.1 References
14.2 Further reading
15 External links
Childhood and adolescence: 19311950
Rajneesh was born Chandra Mohan Jain (the eldest of eleven children of a cloth
merchant and his wife) at his maternal grandparents' house in Kuchwada, a small
Indian village in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh State.
parents, Babulal and Saraswati Jain (Taranpanthi Jains), let him live with his
maternal grandparents until he was seven years old.
By Rajneesh's account,
this was a major inuence on his development; his grandmother gave him
unbridled freedom and imposed no education on him.
When he was seven his
grandfather died, and Chandra went to Gadarwara to live with his parents.
Rajneesh was profoundly aected by his grandfather's death and the death of his
childhood girlfriend (his cousin Shashi) from typhoid when he was 15. His
preoccupation with death lasted through much of his youth.
He was a
gifted though rebellious school student, and acquired a reputation as a formidable
Rajneesh became an anti-theist, was interested in hypnosis, and was
briey associated with socialism.
University years and public speaking: 19511970
In 1951, aged nineteen, Rajneesh began his studies at Hitkarini College in
Asked to leave after conicts with an instructor, he transferred to D.
N. Jain College in Jabalpur.
Disruptively argumentative, he was not required to
attend classes at D. N. Jain College (except for examinations); he used his free
time to work as an assistant editor for a local newspaper.
He began speaking
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in public at the annual Sarva Dharma Sammelan (meeting of all faiths) at
Jabalpur, organised by the Teranpanthi Jain community into which he was born.
He participated there from 1951 to 1968.
He resisted parental pressure to
Rajneesh later said he became spiritually enlightened on 21 March
1953, at age 21, in a mystical experience while sitting under a tree in the
Bhanvartal Garden in Jabalpur.
After completing his B.A. in philosophy at D. N. Jain College in 1955, he joined the
University of Sagar, where in 1957 he earned his M.A. with distinction in
He secured a teaching post at Raipur Sanskrit College; however,
the vice-chancellor soon asked him to seek a transfer since he considered him a
danger to his students' morality, character and religion.
Beginning in 1958 he lectured in philosophy at Jabalpur University, and was
promoted to professor in 1960.
A popular lecturer, he was acknowledged by
his peers as an exceptionally intelligent man who had overcome the deciencies
of a small-town education.
Concurrent with his university job, Rajneesh traveled throughout India under the
name Acharya Rajneesh (Acharya means teacher, or professor; Rajneesh was a
nickname he acquired in childhood), presenting lectures critical of socialism and
He said socialism would only socialise poverty, and described
Gandhi as a masochist reactionary who worshipped poverty.
What India
needed to prosper were capitalism, science, technology and birth control.
criticised orthodox Indian religions as dead, lled with empty ritual and
oppressing their followers with fears of damnation and promises of blessings.
Such statements made him controversial, but gained him a loyal following
which included wealthy merchants and businessmen.
They arranged
individual consultations about their spiritual development and daily life in return
for donations (a common arrangement in India), and his practice grew rapidly.
In 1962, he began to lead three- to ten-day meditation camps; the rst meditation
centres (Jivan Jagruti Kendra) emerged around his teaching, then known as the
Life Awakening Movement (Jivan Jagruti Andolan).
After a controversial
speaking tour in 1966, he resigned from his teaching post at the request of the
After calling for a greater acceptance of sex in a 1968 lecture series (later
published as From Sex to Superconsciousness), Rajneesh was dubbed "the sex
guru" by the Indian press. His talks scandalised Hindu leaders.
When invited (despite the misgivings of some Hindu leaders) to speak at the
Second World Hindu Conference in 1969, he said that "any religion which
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Rajneesh's birthday celebration
at his Mumbai residence on 11
December 1972
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".
characterised priests as being motivated by self-interest, provoking the
shankaracharya of Puri to attempt (in vain) to have his lecture stopped.
Bombay: 19701974
At a public meditation event in spring 1970,
Rajneesh presented his Dynamic Meditation
method for the rst time.
He left Jabalpur for
Mumbai at the end of June.
On 26 September
1970, he initiated his rst group of disciples (or
Becoming a disciple meant
assuming a new name and wearing the
traditional orange dress of ascetic Hindu holy
men, as well as a mala (beaded necklace)
holding a locket with his picture.
his sannyasins were encouraged to follow a
celebratory (rather than ascetic) lifestyle.
was not to be worshipped but seen as a catalytic
agent, "a sun encouraging the ower to open".
Rajneesh had acquired a secretary, Laxmi Thakarsi Kuruwa, who (as his rst
disciple) had taken the name Ma Yoga Laxmi.
Laxmi was the daughter of one
of his early followers, a wealthy Jain who had been a key supporter of the
Congress Party during the struggle for Indian independence, and who had close
ties to Gandhi, Nehru and Morarji Desai.
Laxmi raised the money which
enabled Rajneesh to stop traveling and settle down.
In December 1970 he
moved to the Woodlands Apartments in Mumbai, where he gave lectures and
received visitors (among them his rst Westerners).
He traveled rarely, no
longer speaking at open public meetings.
In 1971, he adopted the title "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh".
Shree is a polite
form of address, roughly equivalent to the English "sir"; Bhagwan means "Blessed
One", used in Indian tradition as a term of respect for a human being in whom the
divine is apparent.
Pune ashram: 19741981
The humid Bombay weather was detrimental to Rajneesh's health; he developed
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diabetes, asthma and a number of allergies.
In 1974, on the 21st anniversary
of his experience in Jabalpur, he moved to a property in Koregaon Park, Pune,
which was purchased with the help of Ma Yoga Mukta (Catherine Venizelos, a
Greek shipping heiress).
Rajneesh taught at the Pune ashram from 1974 to
1981. The two adjoining houses and 6 acres (2.4 ha) of land became the center of
what is now the Osho International Meditation Resort. It facilitated audio and
(later) video recording and printing of his discourses for worldwide distribution,
enabling him to reach a larger audience. The number of Western visitors
The ashram soon featured an arts-and-crafts centre, which
produced clothes, jewellery, ceramics and organic cosmetics and hosted theatre,
music and mime performances.
In 1975, after the arrival of therapists from the
Human Potential Movement, the ashram began to complement its meditations
with group therapy
(which became a major source of income).
The Pune ashram was an intense place with a charged, carnival atmosphere.
The day began at 6:00 am, with Dynamic Meditation.
At 8:00 am
Rajneesh gave a 60- to 90-minute lecture in the ashram's Buddha Hall auditorium,
commenting on religious writings or answering questions from visitors and
Until 1981, lecture series in Hindi alternated with series in
During the day, meditation and therapy took place; their intensity was
ascribed to the energy of Rajneesh's "buddhaeld".
In evening darshans,
Rajneesh conversed with individual disciples and visitors, and initiated disciples
Sannyasins came for darshan when leaving, returning, or when
they had anything they wanted to discuss.
To decide which therapies to participate in, visitors consulted Rajneesh or made
selections according to their own preferences.
Some early therapy groups in
the ashram (including an encounter group) were experimental, allowing physical
aggression and sexual encounters between participants.
Conicting reports
of injuries sustained in encounter-group sessions began to appear in the press.
Dick Price, a prominent Human Potential Movement therapist and co-founder of
the Esalen Institute, found that the groups encouraged participants to "be violent"
rather than "play at being violent" (the norm in U.S. encounter groups); he
criticised them for making "the worst mistakes of some inexperienced Esalen
group leaders".
Price is alleged to have left the Pune ashram with a broken
arm, after eight hours locked in a room with participants armed with wooden
Bernard Gunther (Price's Esalen colleague) fared better in Pune and
wrote a book, Dying for Enlightenment, with photographs and descriptions of the
meditation and therapy groups.
Violence in the therapy groups ended in
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January 1979, when the ashram issued a press release saying that violence "had
fullled its function within the overall context of the ashram as an evolving
spiritual commune".
Sannyasins who "graduated" from months of meditation and therapy could apply
to work in the ashram, in an environment that was consciously modelled on the
community led by George Gurdjie in 1930s France.
Features copied from
Gurdjie were hard, unpaid work and supervisors chosen for their abrasive
personalities, both designed to provoke opportunities for self-observation and
Many disciples stayed for years.
In addition to the
controversy surrounding the therapies, allegations of drug use amongst
sannyasins began to mar the ashram's image;
some Western sannyasins
nanced extended stays in India with prostitution and drug-running.
Several later said that while Rajneesh was not directly involved, they discussed
their plans with him in darshan and he approved.
By the late 1970s the Pune ashram had become too small, and Rajneesh asked
that somewhere larger be found.
Sannyasins throughout India began looking
for properties; those found included one in the province of Kutch in Gujarat and
two more in India's mountainous north.
The plan to move was never
implemented, since mounting tensions between the ashram and the Janata Party
government of Morarji Desai resulted in an impasse.
Land-use approval was
denied, and the government stopped issuing visas to foreign visitors who
indicated the ashram as their chief destination.
Desai's government also
retroactively cancelled the tax-exempt status of the ashram, resulting in a tax
claim estimated at $5 million.
Conicts with other Indian religious leaders
aggravated the situation.
By 1980 the ashram was so controversial that Indira Gandhi, despite an
association between Rajneesh and the Indian Congress Party dating to the 1960s,
was unwilling to intercede after her return to power.
In May 1980 an
assassination attempt was made during one of Rajneesh's discourses by Vilas
Tupe, a young Hindu fundamentalist.
Tupe claims that he attacked
Rajneesh because he believed him to be a CIA agent.
By 1981, Rajneesh's ashram hosted 30,000 visitors per year,
and daily
discourse audiences were predominantly European and American.
observers noted that Rajneesh's lecture style changed during the late 1970s,
becoming less focused intellectually and featuring an increasing number of ethnic
or dirty jokes intended to shock (or amuse) his audience.
On 10 April 1981,
having discoursed daily for nearly 15 years, Rajneesh entered a three-and-a-
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half-year period of self-imposed public silence; satsangssilent sitting, with music
and readings from spiritual works such as Khalil Gibran's The Prophet or the Isha
Upanishadreplaced discourses.
Around the same time, Ma Anand Sheela
(Sheela Silverman) replaced Ma Yoga Laxmi as Rajneesh's secretary.
U.S. years: 19811985
In 1981, increased tension in the Pune ashram, criticism of its activities, and
threatened punitive action by Indian authorities resulted in Sheela and Rajneesh
deciding to move the operation to the United States.
According to Susan
J. Palmer, the move "appears to have been a unilateral decision on the part of
Gordon notes that Sheela and Osho discussed establishing a
commune in the U.S. in late 1980,
although he did not travel there until June 1,
Osho travelled to the United States on a tourist visa (ostensibly for medical
reasons), and spent several months at a Rajneeshee retreat center at Kip's Castle
in Montclair, New Jersey.
He had recently been diagnosed with a prolapsed
disc and treated by several doctors, including James Cyriax (a St. Thomas'
Hospital musculoskeletal physician and expert on epidural injections, who was
own in from London).
Osho's previous secretary, Laxmi, told Frances
FitzGerald that "she had failed to nd a property in India adequate to [Osho's]
needs, and thus, when the medical emergency came, the initiative had passed to
A public statement by Sheela indicated that Rajneesh was in grave
danger if he remained in India, but would receive appropriate medical treatment
in the U.S. if he required surgery.
Despite the allegedly serious nature of
his condition, Rajneesh never sought outside medical treatment during his time in
the United States, leading the Immigration and Naturalization Service to believe
that he had a preconceived intention to remain there.
Rajneesh in 1984
pleaded guilty to immigration fraud, including making false statements on his
initial visa application.
[nb 1][nb 2][nb 3]
On 13 June 1981 Sheela's husband, Swami Prem Chinmaya (Marc Harris
Silverman), bought the Big Muddy Ranch, a 64,229-acre (25,990 ha) ranch near
Antelope, Oregon, for $5.75 million. The ranch spanned two Oregon counties:
(Wasco and Jeerson).
The ranch was renamed "Rancho Rajneesh", and Osho
moved there on 29 August.
Initial local reaction ranged from tolerance to
hostility, varying with the resident's proximity to the ranch.
Within a year a
series of legal battles had begun, primarily over land use.
In May 1982, the
residents of Rancho Rajneesh voted to incorporate it as the city of
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Osho greeted by sannyasins on one of
his daily "drive-bys" in Rajneeshpuram.
Circa 1982.
Conict with neighbours became increasingly bitter, and over
the following years, the commune was subject to pressure from a number of
The commune leaders' stance was uncompromising,
confrontational and impatient; their behaviour was intimidating, and repeated
changes in the commune's stated plans were seen as attempts at deception.
1984, the commune imported thousands of homeless people from U.S. cities in an
unsuccessful attempt to register them to vote in an upcoming county election.
When this was challenged, the people were released in surrounding towns for
Oregon State to return them to their home cities at state expense.
From April 1981 to November 1984,
Osho was "in silence", not speaking
publicly or giving discourses. During that
time, videos of his discourses were
played to audiences instead.
His time
was largely spent in seclusion; he
communicated only with a few key
disciples, including Ma Anand Sheela
and his caretaker girlfriend Ma Yoga
Vivek (Christine Woolf).
Osho lived in
a trailer next to a covered swimming
pool and other amenities. He saw most of
the residents as they stood by the side of
the road during his slow, daily drives.
Rajneesh was notorious for the many
Rolls-Royces bought for his use, eventually totalling 93 vehicles;
this made
him the largest single owner of Rolls-Royces in the world at that time.
followers planned to expand his collection to 365: a Rolls-Royce for every day of
the year.
In 1981, Osho gave Sheela his limited power of attorney, removing the limits the
following year.
In 1983, Sheela announced that he would henceforth speak
only with her;
Osho later said that she kept him in ignorance.
sannyasins expressed doubts about whether Sheela properly represented Osho,
and many dissidents left Rajneeshpuram in protest of its autocratic leadership.
The many resident sannyasins without U.S. citizenship experienced visa
diculties, which some tried to overcome by marriages of convenience.
Commune administrators tried to resolve Osho's own immigration issues by
declaring him the head of a religion, Rajneeshism.
In November 1981, Osho
applied for resident status as a religious worker, but his application was refused
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on the grounds that he could not lead a religion while unwell and in silence.
This decision was later overturned due to procedural violations; permission for
Osho to stay as a religious leader was granted in 1984.
During the Oregon years, Osho emphasized his prediction that the world might be
destroyed by nuclear war (or other disaster) during the 1990s.
He said as
early as 1964 that "the third and last war is now on the way", frequently speaking
about the need to create a "new humanity" to avoid global suicide.
This now
became the basis for a new exclusivism. 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" increased the
sense of urgency to build the Oregon commune.
In March 1984, Sheela
announced that Rajneesh predicted the death of two-thirds of humanity from
Sannyasins were required to wear rubber gloves and condoms if
they had sex, and to refrain from kissingmeasures represented in the press as
an overreaction, since condoms were not commonly recommended for AIDS
prevention at that time.
During his time in Rajneeshpuram, Osho dictated three books under the inuence
of nitrous oxide administered by his dentist: Glimpses of a Golden Childhood,
Notes of a Madman and Books I Have Loved.
Sheela later said that Osho took
sixty milligrams of Valium each day and was addicted to nitrous oxide,
but he denied these allegations when questioned by journalists.
After the Rajneeshiis' eorts to incorporate and develop the ranch as a new city
were unsuccessful, the Rajneeshiis' attempted to take over the tiny city of
Antelope, Oregon (2010 population 45). On September 18, 1984, Antelope's
charter was amended by a vote of 57 to 22 to change the name of the city to
In November, Rajneesh, who had originally pleaded innocent to
charges of immigration fraud, changed his plea to guilty and was allowed to leave
the United States under the terms of a plea bargain.
On November 6, 1985, the remaining residents, both original and Rajneeshee,
voted 34 to 0 to restore the original name, which was never changed by the Postal
but had been changed and was subsequently restored by the United
States Board on Geographic Names.
The ranch, 18 miles (29 km) from Antelope,
is now owned by Young Life and
has been converted into a camp known as "Washington Family Ranch."
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1984 bioterror attack
Osho coached Sheela in using media coverage to her advantage; during his period
of public silence, he said privately that Sheela spoke on his behalf.
supported her in disputes about her behaviour with the commune leadership, but
in spring 1984 (as tension amongst the inner circle peaked) a private meeting was
convened with Sheela and his house sta.
According to testimony from Swami
Devageet (Charles Harvey Newman),
she was admonished before the others.
Osho declared that his housenot herswas the centre of the commune.
is also said to have warned that anyone close to him would be a target for
On 30 October 1984, Osho ended his period of public silence, announcing that it
was time to "speak his own truths."
In July 1985 he resumed daily public
discourses (against Sheela's wishes, according to statements he made to the
On 16 September 1985, two days after Sheela and her management
team had left the commune for Europe, Osho held a press conference in which he
described Sheela and her associates a "gang of fascists".
He accused them of a
number of serious crimes (most dating back to 1984), and invited authorities to
The alleged crimes (which Osho said were committed without his knowledge or
consent) included the attempted murder of his physician, poisonings of public
ocials, wiretapping and bugging in the commune and his home, and a bioterror
attack on citizens of The Dalles, Oregon (using salmonella) to inuence county
While his allegations were initially greeted with scepticism by outside
subsequent investigation by U.S. authorities conrmed the
accusations. Sheela and several associates pleaded guilty to charges of attempted
murder and assault.
On 30 September 1985, Osho denied that he was a
religious teacher;
his disciples burned 5,000 copies of the Book of
Rajneeshism, a 78-page compilation of his teachings which dened Rajneeshism
as "a religionless religion".
He said he ordered the book-burning to rid
the sect of the last traces of Sheela's inuence; her robes were also "added to the
The salmonella attack was the rst conrmed instance of chemical (or biological)
terrorism in the United States.
Osho said that because he was in silence and
isolation (meeting only with Sheela), he was unaware of crimes committed by the
Rajneeshpuram leadership, until Sheela and her "gang" left and sannyasins came
forward to inform him.
A number of commentators have said that in their
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view, Sheela was used as a scapegoat.
Others have noted that
although Sheela bugged Osho's living quarters and made the tapes available to
U.S. authorities as part of her plea bargain, no evidence has come to light that
Osho had any part in her crimes.
However, Gordon (1987) reports
that Charles Turner, David Frohnmayer and other law enforcement ocials (who
saw adavits never released publicly and listened to hundreds of hours of tape
recordings) implied to him that Osho was guilty of more crimes than those for
which he was prosecuted.
Frohnmayer asserted that Osho's philosophy was
not "disapproving of poisoning", and felt that Osho and Sheela were "genuinely
According to court testimony by Ma Ava (Ava Avalos), a prominent disciple,
Sheela played associates a tape-recording of a meeting she had with Osho about
the "need to kill people" to strengthen wavering sannyasin resolve to participate
in her plots:
"She came back to the meeting and ... began to play the tape. It was a
little hard to hear what he was saying ... And the gist of Bhagwan's
response, yes, it was going to be necessary to kill people to stay in
Oregon. And that actually killing people wasn't such a bad thing. And
actually Hitler was a great man, although he could not say that publicly
because nobody would understand that. Hitler had great vision."
Sheela initiated attempts to murder Osho's personal caretaker and girlfriend, Ma
Yoga Vivek, and his physician Swami Devaraj (George Meredith) because she felt
they were a threat to Osho. She had secretly recorded a conversation between
Devaraj and Osho "in which the doctor agreed to obtain drugs the guru wanted to
ensure a peaceful death if he decided to take his own life".
On 23 October 1985, a federal grand jury issued a 35-count indictment charging
Osho and several other disciples with conspiracy to evade immigration laws.
The indictment was returned in camera, but word was leaked to Rajneesh's
Negotiations to allow Osho to surrender to authorities in Portland if a
warrant was issued failed.
Rumours of a National Guard takeover and the
planned violent arrest of Osho led to tension and the fear of violence.
On the
strength of Sheela's tape recordings, authorities later stated their belief that
there was a plan for sannyasin women and children to form a human shield if
authorities tried to arrest Osho at the commune.
On 28 October 1985,
Rajneesh and a small number of sannyasins accompanying him were arrested
aboard a rented Learjet at a North Carolina airstrip; according to federal
authorities, the group was en route to Bermuda to avoid prosecution.
Fifty-eight thousand dollars in cash and thirty-ve watches and bracelets (worth
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Osho was indicted on
35 counts in
Multnomah County,
Oregon on 28 October
1985; charges
included immigration
violations and making
false statements on
his visa application.
He agreed to pay
$400,000 in nes, and
was deported from
the United States.
$1 million) were found on the aircraft.
had, by all accounts, not been informed of the impending
arrest or the reason for the journey.
Osho's imprisonment and transfer across the country
became a public spectacle. He was shown in chains and
held in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Portland.
Ocials took the full ten days legally available to transfer
him from North Carolina to Portland for arraignment.
After initially pleading not guilty to all charges and being
released on bail, on the advice of his lawyers Osho
entered an Alford plea (a type of guilty plea in which a
suspect does not admit guilt, but concedes there is
enough evidence to convict him) to one count of
concealed 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 sannyasins enter into sham
marriages to acquire U.S. residency.
Under the deal his lawyers made with the U.S. Attorney's
oce, he was given a 10-year suspended sentence, ve
years' probation and a $400,000 penalty in nes and
prosecution costs. Osho agreed to leave the United
States, not returning for at least ve years without
permission from the United States Attorney General.
Travels and return to Pune: 19851990
After leaving the U.S., Rajneesh returned to India, after numerous countries
refused him entry. He landed in Delhi on 17 November 1985. He was given a
hero's welcome by his Indian disciples and denounced the United States, saying
the world must "put the monster America in its place" and "either America must
be hushed up or America will be the end of the world".
He stayed for six
weeks in Himachal Pradesh. When non-Indians in his party had their visas
revoked, he moved on to Kathmandu, Nepal and a few weeks later to Crete.
Arrested after a few days by the Greek Intelligence Service (KYP), he ew to
Geneva, Stockholm and London Heathrow Airport; however, in each case he was
refused entry. When Canada refused him permission to land, his plane returned to
Shannon airport in Ireland to refuel. He was allowed to stay for two weeks at a
hotel in Limerick, on the condition that he did not go out or give talks. Osho had
been granted a Uruguayan identity card, a one-year provisional residency and the
possibility of permanent residency so the party set out, stopping at Madrid (where
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the plane was surrounded by the Guardia Civil). He was allowed to spend one
night in Dakar before continuing to Recife and Montevideo. In Uruguay the group
moved into a house in Punta del Este; Osho began speaking publicly until 19 June,
when he was "invited to leave" for no ocial reason. A two-week visa was
arranged for Jamaica, but upon his arrival in Kingston the police gave his group
12 hours to leave. Refuelling in Gander and Madrid, Osho returned to Mumbai on
30 July 1986.
On 4 January 1987 Rajneesh returned to the ashram in Pune,
where he
held evening discourses daily as his health permitted.
Publishing and
therapy resumed; the ashram expanded
into a "Multiversity", in which
therapy was a bridge to meditation.
Rajneesh devised new "meditation
therapy" methods (such as the "Mystic Rose"), and began to lead meditations in
his discourses after more than ten years.
His Western disciples formed no
large communes, preferring independent living.
Red and orange dress and
the mala were largely abandoned (they had been optional since 1985).
wearing of maroon robes in the ashram was reintroduced in summer 1989, with
white robes worn for evening meditation and black robes with white sashes worn
by group leaders.
In November 1987, Rajneesh expressed a belief that his deteriorating health
(nausea, fatigue, pain in his extremities and low resistance to infection) was due
to poisoning by U.S. authorities when he was in prison.
His doctors and his
former attorney, Philip J. Toelkes (Swami Prem Niren), hypothesised radiation and
thallium poisoning (from a contaminated mattress, since his symptoms were on
the right side of his body)
but presented no evidence.
U.S. attorney
Charles H. Hunter described this as a "complete ction"; others suggested the
symptoms were caused by HIV infection, diabetes or chronic stress.
From early 1988, Osho's discourses focused exclusively on Zen.
In late
December, he said he no longer wished to be referred to as "Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh"; in February 1989 he took the name "Osho Rajneesh", which he
shortened to "Osho" in September.
His health continued to weaken. He
delivered his last public discourse in April 1989, from then on sitting in silence
with his followers.
Shortly before his death, Osho suggested that one or more
audience members at evening meetings (now referred to as the Osho White Robe
Brotherhood) were subjecting him to a form of evil magic.
A search for
the perpetrators was undertaken, but none could be found.
Osho died at 5 p.m. on 19 January 1990 at age 58, reportedly of heart failure.
His ashes were placed in his newly built bedroom in Lao Tzu House at the Pune
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ashram. His epitaph reads "OSHO Never Born, Never Died. Only Visited this
Planet Earth between Dec 11 1931 Jan 19 1990."
Osho's teachings, delivered through his discourses, were not presented in an
academic setting but interspersed with jokes and delivered with a rhetoric that
many found spellbinding.
Their emphasis was not static, but changed
over time; Osho revelled in paradox and contradiction, making his work dicult
to summarise.
He delighted in engaging in behaviour seemingly at odds with
the traditional image of an enlightened individual; his early lectures, in particular,
were known for their humour and their refusal to take anything seriously.
This behaviour, capricious and dicult to accept, was explained as "a technique
for transformation" to push people "beyond the mind."
He spoke on major spiritual traditions (including Jainism, Hinduism, Hassidism,
Tantrism, Taoism, Christianity and Buddhism), on a variety of Eastern and
Western mystics and on sacred scriptures such as the Upanishads and the Guru
Granth Sahib.
Sociologist Lewis F. Carter saw his ideas as rooted in Hindu
advaita, in which the human experiences of separateness, duality and temporality
are seen as a dance (or play) of cosmic consciousness in which everything is
sacred, has absolute worth and is an end in itself.
While his contemporary,
Jiddu Krishnamurti, did not approve of Osho there are clear similarities between
their respective teachings.
Osho also drew on a wide range of Western ideas.
His view of the unity of
opposites recalls Heraclitus, while his description of man as a machine,
condemned to the helpless acting-out of unconscious, neurotic patterns, has much
in common with Freud and Gurdjie.
Osho's vision of the "new man",
transcending the constraints of convention, is reminiscent of Nietzsche's Beyond
Good and Evil;
his views on sexual liberation bear comparison to D. H.
and his "dynamic" meditations owe a debt to Wilhelm Reich.
Ego and the mind
According to Osho, every human being is a Buddha with the capacity for
enlightenment, capable of unconditional love and of responding (rather than
reacting) to lifealthough the ego usually prevents this, identifying with social
conditioning and creating false needs and conicts and an illusory sense of
identity which is a barrier to dreams.
Otherwise man's innate being
can ower, moving from the periphery to the centre.
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Osho viewed the mind as a mechanism for survival, replicating behavioural
strategies which have proven successful in the past.
The mind's appeal to
the past deprives humans of the ability to live authentically in the present,
causing them to repress genuine emotions and shut themselves o from joyful
experiences arising naturally when embracing the present moment: "The mind
has no inherent capacity for joy ... It only thinks about joy."
The result is
that people poison themselves with neuroses, jealousies and insecurities.
argued that psychological repression (often advocated by religious leaders) makes
suppressed feelings re-emerge in another guise, and sexual repression results in
societies obsessed with sex.
Instead of suppressing, people should trust and
accept themselves unconditionally.
This should not merely be understood
intellectually, since the mind can only assimilate it as one more piece of
information; meditation is also needed.
Osho presented meditation not only as a practice but as a state of awareness to
be maintained in every moment, a total awareness awakening the individual from
the sleep of mechanical responses conditioned by beliefs and expectations.
He employed Western psychotherapy in the preparatory stages of
meditation to create an awareness of mental and emotional patterns.
Osho suggested a total of more than 112 meditation techniques.
"active meditation" techniques are characterised by stages of physical activity
leading to silence.
The best-known of these is Dynamic Meditation,
which has been described as a microcosm of his outlook.
Performed with
closed (or blindfolded) eyes, it comprises ve stages (four of which are
accompanied by music).
First, the meditator engages in ten minutes of rapid
breathing through the nose.
The second ten minutes are for catharsis: "Let
whatever is happening happen ... Laugh, shout, scream, jump, shakewhatever
you feel to do, do it!"
Next, for ten minutes one jumps up and down with
arms raised, shouting "hoo" with each landing.
In the fourth (silent) stage
the meditator stops moving, remaining motionless for fteen minutes while seeing
everything that is happening.
The last stage of the meditation consists of
fteen minutes of dancing and celebration.
Osho developed other active-meditation techniques (such as the Kundalini
"shaking" meditation and the Nadabrahma "humming" meditation) which are less
animated, although they also include physical activity.
His later meditative
therapies required sessions for several days; Mystic Rose comprised three hours
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of laughing every day for a week, three hours of weeping each day for a second
week and a third week with three hours of silent meditation.
These processes
of "witnessing" enable a "jump into awareness".
Osho believed such cathartic
methods were necessary, since it was dicult for modern people to just sit and
enter meditation. Once the methods had provided a glimpse of meditation, people
would be able to use other methods without diculty.
Another key ingredient was Rajneesh's presence as a master: "A Master shares
his being with you, not his philosophy ... He never does anything to the
The initiation he oered 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."
As an "self-parodying" guru Rajneesh
deconstructed his authority, declaring his teaching to be nothing more than a
"game" or a joke.
He emphasised that anything and everything could
become an opportunity for meditation.
Renunciation and the "new man"
Rajneesh saw his "neo-sannyas" as a new form of spiritual discipline, or one that
had existed but been forgotten.
He felt that the traditional Hindu sannyas had
turned into a system of social renunciation and imitation.
emphasised inner freedom and responsibility to oneself, demanding not
supercial behavioural changes but a deeper, inner transformation.
were to be accepted and surpassed, rather than denied.
Once this inner
owering had taken place, appetites such as that for sex would be left behind.
Rajneesh called himself "the rich man's guru", and said that poverty was not a
genuine spiritual value.
He said it in his way that, "I would like the whole
world to live so luxuriously that people start becoming bored with luxury. And the
whole earth is capable for the rst time to be so luxurious that you don't feel any
material need. All material needs are fullled. Then what you are going to do?
There is nothing else than meditation.".
He was photographed wearing
sumptuous clothing and hand-made watches
and, in Oregon, drove a dierent
Rolls-Royce each day (his followers reportedly wanted to buy him 365, one for
each day of the year).
Publicity shots of the Rolls-Royces were provided to the
they may have reected his advocacy of wealth and his desire to
provoke American sensibilities (as he had enjoyed oending Indian sensibilities
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Rajneesh aimed to create a "new man", combining the spirituality of Gautama
Buddha with the zest for life embodied by Nikos Kazantzakis' Zorba the Greek:
"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."
His term "new man" applied to men and women, whose roles he saw as
complementary; indeed, most of his movement's leadership positions were held by
This new man, "Zorba the Buddha", should embrace both science and
Osho believed humanity was threatened with extinction due to
over-population, an impending nuclear holocaust and disease (such as AIDS), and
thought many of society's ills could be remedied by scientic means.
The new
man would no longer be trapped in institutions such as family, marriage, political
ideologies and religions.
In this respect, Rajneesh is similar to other
counterculture gurus and (perhaps) certain postmodern and deconstructional
The "ten commandments"
During his early days as Acharya Rajneesh, a correspondent asked Rajneesh for
his "ten commandments". He noted that it was a dicult matter because he was
against any kind of commandment, but "just for fun" listed the following:
Never obey anyone's command unless it is coming from within you. 1.
There is no God other than life itself. 2.
Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere. 3.
Love is prayer. 4.
To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is
the means, the goal and attainment.
Life is now and here. 6.
Live wakefully. 7.
Do not swimoat. 8.
Die each moment so that you can be new each moment. 9.
Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see. 10.
He underlined numbers 3, 7, 9 and 10;
these ideas have remained constant
leitmotifs in his movement.
Euthanasia and Eugenics
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Rajneesh favoured euthanasia for children with a broad variety of birth defects,
such as blindness, deafness, and dumbness: "if a child is born deaf, dumb, and we
cannot do anything, and the parents are willing, the child should be put to eternal
He maintained that people at risk of conceiving children with birth
defects "don't have that permission from existence" to "take the risk of burdening
the earth with a crippled, blind child".
Jewish "guilt", the Holocaust and the gas chambers' "holy
Rajneesh claimed that Jews "are guilty people, and their guilt is very great"
because they crucied Jesus; out of this guilt, they are "always in search of their
Adolf Hitlers, someone who can kill them". He asserted that only when Jews
"reclaim Jesus", "they will be healthy and whole, and then there will be no need
for Adolf Hitlers".
In criticizing historical teachers of pacism who have encouraged people to: "Just
accept the situation in which you are," Rajneesh has stated that "living in poverty
is far more dangerous, far more suering than dying in a beautifully, scientically
managed gas chamber in Germany",
and claimed that "Hitlers violence was
far more peaceful" than (for example) the violence which erupted in India after
independence from the British Crown; Hitler "killed people in the most up-to-date
gas chambers, where you dont take much time. Thousands of people can be put
in a gas chamber, and just a switch is pressed ... Within a second, you evaporate.
The chimneys of the factory start taking you, the smoke you can call it holy
smoke and this seems to be a direct way towards God."
Homosexuality as perversion; segregation and relocation of
During the years before his move to the United States Rajneesh supported (and
encouraged) homosexual sannyasins: "No condemnation, no judgement, no
evaluation. If you are a homosexual, so what?! Enjoy it! God has made you that
However, during the early to mid-1980s he arrived at a less-tolerant,
more-judgemental assessment of homosexuality, and suggested that homosexuals
should be isolated: "homosexuals, because they were perverted, created the
disease AIDS." "They can live in their own world, in their own way, and be happy,
but they should not be allowed to move in the wider society, spreading all kinds of
dangerous viruses".
When asked by gay sannyasins to explain his new view of
homosexuality, he replied "As a homosexual, you are not even a human
being ... You have fallen from dignity."
He never changed (or retracted) these
public pronouncements.
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The Osho International Meditation
Resort in Pune, India, attracts 200,000
visitors annually.
While Rajneesh's teachings were
rejected in his home country during his
lifetime, there has been a change in
Indian public opinion since his death.
In 1991 an inuential Indian
newspaper counted Osho, 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
Osho has received
more acclaim in his homeland since his
death than he did when he was alive.
In The Indian Express, columnist Tanweer Alam wrote "The late Rajneesh was a
ne interpreter of social absurdities that destroyed human happiness".
At a
2006 celebration marking the 75th anniversary of Osho's birth, Indian singer
Wasifuddin Dagar said that his teachings are "more pertinent in the current
milieu than they were ever before".
In Nepal in January 2008 there were 60
Osho Meditation Centres, with nearly 45,000 initiated disciples.
Osho's works
have been placed in the Library of India's National Parliament in New Delhi.
Prominent gures such as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sikh
writer Khushwant Singh have expressed their admiration for Osho.
Bollywood actor and Osho disciple Vinod Khanna, who worked as Rajneesh's
gardener in Rajneeshpuram, was India's Minister of State for External Aairs
from 2003 to 2004.
Over 650 books are credited to Osho,
expressing his
views on all facets of human existence;
virtually all are transcriptions of his
taped discourses.
His books are available in 55 languages,
and have
entered bestseller lists in Italy and South Korea.
After nearly two decades of controversy and a decade of accommodation, Osho's
movement has established itself in the market of new religions.
His followers
have redened his contributions, reframing central elements of his teaching to
make them less controversial to outsiders.
Societies in North America and
Western Europe have become more accommodating of spiritual topics such as
yoga and meditation.
The Osho International Foundation (OIF) runs stress
management seminars for corporate clients such as IBM and BMW, with a
revenue reported in 2000 between $15 million and $45 million annually in the
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Osho's ashram, Pune
Osho's ashram in Pune has become the Osho International Meditation Resort, one
of India's main tourist attractions.
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 oneself and
uniting the desires of body and mind in a resort environment.
According to
press reports, it attracts about 200,000 people from around the world each
visitors have included politicians, media personalities and the Dalai
Before entering the resort, an HIV test is required; HIV-positive
visitors are not allowed in.
In 2011, a national seminar on Osho's teachings
was inaugurated at the Department of Philosophy of the Mankunwarbai College
for Women in Jabalpur.
Funded by the Bhopal oce of the University Grants
Commission, the seminar focused on Osho's "Zorba the Buddha" teaching and
sought to reconcile spirituality with a materialist, objective approach.
Osho is generally considered one of the most
controversial spiritual leaders to have emerged
from India during the 20th century.
message of sexual, emotional, spiritual and
institutional liberation and the pleasure he derived
in causing oence ensured that his life was
surrounded by controversy.
Osho was known
as the "sex guru" in India and the "Rolls-Royce
guru" in the United States.
He attacked the
concept of nationalism, was contemptuous of politicians and poked fun at the
leading gures of a number of religions (who, in turn, disliked his arrogance).
Osho's ideas on sex, marriage, family and relationships contradicted
traditional views, arousing anger and opposition around the world.
movement was feared and despised as a cult; he lived "in ostentation and
oensive opulence", while his followers (most of whom had severed ties with
outside friends and family and donated allor mostof their money and
possessions to the commune) might live at a "subsistence level".
By religious scholars
Describing how the body of Rajneesh's work might be summarised, sociologist
Bob Mullan from the University of East Anglia said 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
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extremely contradictory".
While acknowledging that Rajneesh's range and
imagination were second to none
and many of his statements were insightful
and moving (perhaps even profound at times),
what remained was "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 lose the ego, fear and
Uday Mehta, appraising Osho's teachings (particularly errors in his interpretation
of Zen, Mahayana Buddhism and how they relate to the proto-materialist nature
of Tantric philosophy), suggests "It is not surprising to nd that Rajneesh could
get away with several gross contradictions and inconsistencies in his teachings.
This was possible for the simple reason that an average Indian (or for that matter
even western) listener knows so little about religious scriptures or various schools
of thought that it hardly requires much eort to exploit his ignorance and
According to Mehta, Osho's 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).
In 1996 Hugh B. Urban (Assistant Professor of Religion and Comparative Studies
at Ohio State University), like Mullan, found Osho's teaching neither original nor
especially profound and noted that most of its content had been drawn from a
number of Eastern and Western philosophies.
What he found most original
about Osho was his keen instinct for marketing strategy, in which he adapted his
teachings to meet the changing desires of his audience
(a theme also raised
by Gita Mehta in her book, Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East).
In 2005
Urban observed that Osho underwent a "remarkable apotheosis" after his return
to India (especially since his death), describing him as illustrating what F. Max
Mller 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".
By negating the dichotomy between spiritual and material
desires and reecting the preoccupation with sexuality and the body
characteristic of late capitalist consumer culture, Osho created a spiritual path in
tune with the socio-economic conditions of his time.
In his 1999 Exploring New Religions, George Chryssides described Osho as
primarily a Buddhist teacher who promoted an independent "Beat Zen".
called descriptions of Osho's teachings as a "potpourri" of various religious
teachings unfortunate, because Osho was "no amateur philosopher"; drawing
attention to Osho's academic background, he said: "Whether or not one accepts
his teachings, he was no charlatan when it came to expounding the ideas of
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Chryssides viewed the unsystematic, contradictory and outrageous
aspects of Osho's teachings as part of the nature of Zen, reecting the fact that
spiritual teaching seeks to induce a dierent kind of change in an audience than
do philosophic lectures (which aim to improve intellectual understanding).
Peter B. Clarke, in the Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements (2006), noted
that Osho has come to be "seen as an important teacher within India itself" and is
"increasingly recognised as a major spiritual teacher of the twentieth century, at
the forefront of the current 'world-accepting' trend of spirituality based on
Clarke said that the style of therapy Osho devised, with its
liberal attitude towards sexuality as a sacred part of life, inuenced other therapy
practitioners and New Age groups.
In his view, the main motivation of seekers
joining the movement was "neither therapy nor sex, but the prospect of becoming
enlightened, in the classical Buddhist sense".
While few achieved their aim,
most current and former members felt they had made progress in
self-actualisation (as dened by American psychologist Abraham Maslow) and the
human-potential movement.
As charismatic leader
A number of commentators have noted Osho's charisma. Comparing him with
Gurdjie, Anthony Storr wrote that Osho was "personally extremely impressive"
and that "many of those who visited him for the rst 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".
Many sannyasins have stated that upon hearing Osho speak, they "fell in love with
Susan J. Palmer noted that even his critics attested to the power of
his presence.
Psychiatrist and researcher James S. Gordon recalls
inexplicably nding himself laughing like a child, hugging strangers and having
tears of gratitude in his eyes after a glance from Osho in his passing Rolls-
Frances FitzGerald concluded after listening to Osho in person that he
was a brilliant lecturer; she was surprised by his comedic talent (not apparent in
his books) and the hypnotic quality of his talks, which had a profound eect on his
Hugh Milne (Swami Shivamurti), an ex-devotee who between 1973
and 1982 worked closely with Rajneesh as leader of his Pune Ashram Guard
and his personal bodyguard,
noted that their rst meeting left him with a
sense that more than words had passed 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."
Milne also observed another facet
of Osho's charismatic ability: he was "a brilliant manipulator of the unquestioning
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Hugh B. Urban noted that Osho appeared to t Max Webers classic image of the
charismatic gure, seen to possess "an extraordinary supernatural power or
'grace', which was essentially irrational and aective".
Osho corresponded to
Weber's charismatic type in rejecting rational laws and institutions and claiming
to subvert all hierarchical authority, although Urban notes that this promise of
absolute freedom actually resulted in bureaucratic organisation and institutional
control in larger communes.
Scholars have suggested that Osho, like other charismatic leaders, may have had
a narcissistic personality.
In his paper The Narcissistic Guru: A
Prole 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: a grandiose sense of
self-importance and uniqueness, preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited
success, the need for constant attention and admiration, a set of characteristic
responses to threats to self-esteem, disturbances in interpersonal relationships,
preoccupation with personal grooming, frequent prevarication (or outright lying)
and a lack of empathy.
Drawing on Osho's childhood memories in Glimpses of
a Golden Childhood, he suggested that Osho experienced a lack of parental
discipline due to his upbringing by overindulgent grandparents.
self-proclaimed Buddha status, he concluded, was part of a delusional system
associated with his narcissistic personality disorder (ego-ination rather than
As philosopher and orator
There are diering views of Osho's qualities as a thinker and speaker. Khushwant
Singh, 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".
He saw Osho as a "free-thinking
agnostic" who could explain abstract concepts in simple language (illustrated with
witty anecdotes), who mocked gods, prophets, scriptures and religious practices
and who gave a new dimension to religion.
The German philosopher Peter
Sloterdijk, who became a disciple of Rajneesh during the late 1970s, has called
him a "Wittgenstein of religions" and ranks him one of the greatest gures of the
20th century; in his view, Osho had performed a radical deconstruction of the
word games played by the world's religions.
During the early 1980s, a number of commentators in the popular press were
dismissive of Rajneesh.
Australian critic Clive James called him "Bagwash",
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comparing listening to one of his discourses to sitting in a laundrette and
watching "your tattered underwear revolve soggily for hours while exuding grey
suds. The Bagwash talks the way that looks".
James concluded by saying
that Rajneesh, although a "fairly benign example of his type," was a "rebarbative
dingbat who manipulates the manipulable into manipulating one another".
Responding to an enthusiastic review of one of Osho's talks by
Bernard Levin in The Times, Dominik Wujastyk (also in The Times) expressed his
opinion that the talk he heard when visiting the Pune ashram was of a very low
standard, wearyingly repetitive and often factually wrong; he was disturbed by
the personality cult surrounding Osho.
In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in January 1990, American author Tom Robbins
wrote that Osho's books convinced him that Osho was the 20th century's
"greatest spiritual teacher". Robbins (stressing that he was not a disciple)
continued that he had "read enough vicious propaganda and slanted reports to
suspect that he was one of the most maligned gures in history."
commentary on Guru Nanak's song "Japji Sahib" was hailed as the best available
by former president of India Giani Zail Singh.
In 2011, author Farrukh
Dhondy called Osho "the cleverest intellectual condence trickster that India has
produced. His output of the 'interpretation' of Indian texts is specically slanted
towards a generation of disillusioned westerners who wanted (and perhaps still
want) to 'have their cake, eat it' [and] claim at the same time that cake-eating is
the highest virtue according to ancient-fused-with-scientic wisdom".
Films about Rajneesh
1978: The rst documentary on Rajneesh, Bhagwan, The Movie,
made in 1978 by American lmmaker Robert Hillman.
1981: The BBC broadcast a documentary, The God that Fled, by British
American journalist Christopher Hitchens.
1983: Captive Minds: Hypnosis and Beyond from the National Film Board of
Canada. The lm illustrates techniques used by organizations to change a
person's belief system; Rajneesh, the United States Marine Corps, the
Benedictines, medical doctors (including psychiatrists), animator Dick
Sutclie, the Moonies and Adolf Hitler are examined.
1987: Fear is the Master,
a documentary from Jeremiah Films with rare
footage shot in Rajneeshpuram
1989: Rajneesh: Spiritual Terrorist, another documentary by Australian
lmmaker Cynthia Connop for ABC TV'sLearning Channel
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25 of 42 2014-05-28 21:52
2010: Guru Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard, a Swiss
Selected works
On the sayings of Jesus:
The Mustard Seed (the Gospel of
Come Follow to You Vols. I IV
On Tao:
Tao: The Three Treasures (The Tao Teh
Ching of Lao Tzu), Vol I IV
The Empty Boat (Stories of Chuang
When the Shoe Fits (Stories of Chuang
On Gautama Buddha:
The Dhammapada (Vols. I X)
The Discipline of Transcendence (Vols.
The Heart Sutra
The Diamond Sutra
On Zen:
Neither This nor That (On the Xin Xin
Ming of Sosan)
No Water, No Moon
Returning to the Source
And the Flowers Showered
The Grass Grows by Itself
Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
The Search (on the Ten Bulls)
Dang dang doko dang
Ancient Music in the Pines
A Sudden Clash of Thunder
Zen: The Path of Paradox
This Very Body the Buddha (on
Hakuin's Song of Meditation)
On the Baul mystics:
The Beloved
On Sus:
Until You Die
Just Like That
Unio Mystica Vols. I and II (on the
poetry of Sanai)
On Hasidic Judaism:
The True Sage
The Art of Dying
On the Upanishads:
I am That Talks on Isa Upanishad
The Supreme Doctrine
The Ultimate Alchemy Vols. I and II
Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
On Heraclitus:
The Hidden Harmony
On Kabir:
Ecstasy: The Forgotten Language
The Divine Melody
The Path of Love
On Buddhist Tantra:
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26 of 42 2014-05-28 21:52
Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
The Tantra Vision
On Shaivistic Tantra:
Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
On Patanjali and Yoga:
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega Vols.
(reprinted as Yoga, the Science of the Soul)
On Meditation methods:
The Book of Secrets, Vols. I V
Meditation: the Art of Inner Ecstasy
The Orange Book
Meditation: The First and Last
Learning to Silence the Mind
Talks based on questions:
I Am the Gate
The Way of the White Clouds
The Silent Explosion
Dimensions Beyond the Known
Roots and Wings
The Rebel
Darshan interviews:
Hammer on the Rock
Above All, Don't Wobble
Nothing to Lose but your Head
Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle
The Cypress in the Courtyard
Get Out of Your Own Way
Beloved of my Heart
A Rose is a Rose is a Rose
Dance your way to God
The Passion for the Impossible
The Great Nothing
God is not for Sale
The Shadow of the Whip
Blessed are the Ignorant
The Buddha Disease
Being in Love
On Women
The Book of Women: Celebrating the
Female Spirit
See also
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
1985 Rajneeshee assassination plot
2010 Pune bombing
Byron v. Rajneesh Foundation International
Rajneesh movement
Jiddu Krishnamurti
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27 of 42 2014-05-28 21:52
^ "His lawyers, however, were already negotiating with the United States Attorney's Oce
and, on 14 November 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)
^ "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:
%2Fwww.nealkarlen.com%2Fnewsweek%2Fbhagwan.shtml&date=2012-03-24) The Oregon
cult with the leader with 90 golden Rolls Royces, 3 December 1984, United States Edition,
National Aairs Pg. 34, 1915 words, Neal Karlen with Pamela Abramson in Rajneeshpuram.)
^ "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, November 1985,
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FitzGerald 1986b, p. 108 2.
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^ Transcript
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testimony of the gurus dentist about
life inside the gurus home and
dealings with Sheela. Contributed by:
Ed Madrid, The Oregonian.
^ Fox 2002, p. 27 118.
^ Carter 1990, p. 209 119.
^ Osho: The Last Testament, Vol. 2,
Chapter 29 (transcript of interview
with Stern magazine and ZDF TV,
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1985). "Guru's Commune Roiled As
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date=2012-03-24). The New York
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Some Commune Assets"
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date=2012-03-24). Neil Pate (Times of
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Further reading
Swami Devageet (2013), Osho The First Buddha in the Dental Chair
Boulder, CO: Sammasati Publishing, ISBN 978-0615632230.
Appleton, Sue ([ca. 1990]). Was Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Poisoned by Ronald
Reagan's American? First ed. Cologne: Rebel Publishing House. ISBN 3-89338-041-8
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.
FitzGerald, Frances (1986), Cities on a Hill: A Journey Through Contemporary
American Cultures, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-55209-0. (Includes
a 135-page section on Rajneeshpuram previously published in two parts in The New
Yorker magazine, 22 September, and 29 September 1986 editions.)
Forman, Juliet (1991), Bhagwan: One Man Against the Whole Ugly Past of Humanity,
Cologne: Rebel Publishing House, ISBN 3-89338-103-1.
Rajneesh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rajne...
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Goldman, Marion S. (1999), Passionate Journeys Why Successful Women Joined a
Cult, The University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0-472-11101-9
Guest, Tim (2005), My Life in Orange: Growing up with the Guru, London: Granta
Books, ISBN 1-86207-720-7.
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.
Latkin, Carl A.; Sundberg, Norman D.; Littman, Richard A.; Katsikis, Melissa G.;
Hagan, Richard A. (1994), "Feelings after the fall: former Rajneeshpuram Commune
members' perceptions of and aliation with the Rajneeshee movement"
(http://ndarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0SOR/is_n1_v55/ai_15383493/), Sociology of
Religion 55 (1): Pages 6574, doi:10.2307/3712176 (http://dx.doi.org
/10.2307%2F3712176), retrieved 4 May 2008 .
McCormack, Win (1985), Oregon Magazine: The Rajneesh Files 198186, 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 978-0-8156-0297-2
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
Osho International Foundation website (http://www.osho.com/)
Osho World Foundation website (http://www.oshoworld.com/) A website
with a vast collection of Osho's audio and video recordings taken over 35
years; available in Hindi (4,000 hours+) and English (4,800 hours+)
Rajneeshees in Oregon The Untold Story (http://www.oregonlive.com
/rajneesh/). Select government documents (http://www.oregonlive.com
/rajneesh/index.ssf/documents.html), along with a 25-year retrospective by
Rajneesh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rajne...
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Les Zaitz. The Oregonian, April 2011.
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