OF THE LIFE OF OSHO
THE CHILDHOOD YEARS
Born in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh,
in the center of India, on December 11, Osho quickly demonstrated a fearlessly
independent spirit. "Rajneesh", as he was called – "King of the Night"
– jumped off 100-foot
railway bridges and swam across
monsoon-swollen rivers.With uncanny wit and persistence, he exposed the
stupidities and hipocrisies of priests, saints, teachers and others pretending
knowledge beyond their own experience. Osho followed his own counsel.
THE UNIVERSITY YEARS
On March 21, while majoring in
philosophy at college in Jabalpur, Osho realized his enlightenment. He
was twenty-one years old. Describing the experience, Osho said: “I was
becoming loose from my past, I was being uprooted from my history; I was
losing my autobiography.”.
He continued his studies, graduating
at the head of his year with First Class Honors and the Gold Medal, receiving
his M.A. in philosophy at the University of Sagar in 1957. Two years later
he became a professor of philosophy at the University of Jabalpur. He was
tremendously popular with the students for his humorous and unpretentious
honesty and his uncompromising insistence on freedom and truth.
During his nine-year university
career, Osho traveled around India, frequently on the road fifteen days
out of every month. Always a powerful and passionate debater, he repeatedly
challenged orthodox religious leaders.
Often addressing audiences of 100,000,
Osho spoke with an authority derived from his own enlightenment. Just as
Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, could say he was destroying reason
to make room for faith, Osho was destroying faith to make room for true
Osho abandoned his university career
to devote himself entirely to sharing the art of meditation and his vision
of the New Man, Zorba the Buddha – the distillation of the best of East
and West, a man capable of celebrating a full, physical life and also capable
of sitting silently in meditation, a man rich materially and spiritually.
THE MUMBAY YEARS
Osho settled in Mumbay, and in
1970 the first Western seekers began to arrive. Among them were many therapists
from the human potential movement who were looking for the next step in
their own growth. The next step, Osho said, was meditation.
In the same year, Osho began initiating
disciples into neo-sannyas, a path of self exploration which ultimately
leads towards the disciple’s enlightenment.
THE EARLY PUNE YEARS
Osho and his sannyasins moved
to Pune to open his first ashram. Over the next seven years, hundreds of
thousands of seekers came from around the world to experience Osho’s meditations,
take sannyas, and listen to him speak. His profound insights and original
contribution to understanding the basic dynamic behind figures and events
in history, through to the present day, are awesome. A combination of Eastern
meditation techniques and Western psychological growth groups attracted
thousands more, and established the Pune ashram as the greatest spiritual
center in the world.
A NEW PHASE – RAJNEESHPURAM, USA
After suffering for years from
asthma and diabetes, Osho developed a degenerative back condition and,
in the Spring, went into a period of silence. At the recommendation of
his doctors, he was taken to the United States in June of the same year
for possible surgery. Eventually, surgery proved unnecessary.
Osho’s U.S. disciples purchased
a 64,000-acre ranch in central Oregon to which they invited him in August.
During the four years that Osho lived there, Rajneeshpuram became history’s
most ambitious experiment in creating a spiritually-based, transnational
commune. Each annual summer festival brought up to 15,000 visitors from
Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. Eventually, the commune became
a thriving city with a year-round population of five thousand people.
Just as suddenly as he had stopped,
in October Osho began speaking again. He spoke about love, meditation,
and the human predicament in a mad, heavily conditioned world. He targeted
priests and politicians as corrupters of the human soul, as destroyers
of human freedom, and called God the first and biggest lie.
From the very beginning of the
communal experiment, federal, state, and local governments strove to destroy
it in any way possible. Documentation later revealed that this effort involved
the White House.
Charles Turner, the U. S. attorney
in Portland who was the government’s instrument in this process, stated
in a private interview in February, 1989, that at the time Rajneeshpuram
was becoming established, the government was saying: “What are we going
to do with these people? How are we going to get them out of here? They’re
totally entrenched. They’re a political entity. They have money, they have
power, they have organization. They’re sophisticated, they have people
who are absolutely, completely, totally commited to what they are doing,
zealous beyond anything that I’ve ever encountered before in my life. So
what are we going to do about it? Let’s use the U. S. attorney’s office
to charge them with immigration fraud.”. He added: “We were using the criminal
process to solve, I suppose [what] was really a political problem.”.
In October the U. S. government
accused Osho of immigration violations. Without any arrest warrant being
produced or rights being read, Osho was taken into custody at gunpoint.
Handcuffed and shacked in chains wherever he went, Osho was denied bail
and kept in confinement for twelve days. He was transported cross-country
to Portland, Oregon. A journey which normally takes five hours took eight
During Osho’s time in jail, he
was physically mistreated by federal officers. According to subsequent
medical evidence, while in Oklahoma County Jail he was exposed to life-threatening
doses of radiation, and poisoned with thallium. In Multnomah Jail in Portland
he was subjected to an attempted bombing.
Fearing for Osho’s life in the
hands of U. S. agents, his lawyers agreed to a “deal” proposed by government
attorneys. Under the deal, Osho could maintain his innocence on the charges
through an “Alford Plea”, but be sentenced on two of them. The government
had what it wanted: apparent “guilt” of Osho and justification for all
the actions it had taken and would take against him and his commune.
Osho left America on November 14.
In the wake of this massive government assault, the commune was disbanded.
THE RETURN TO INDIA
The U. S. government was not content
with this flagrant violation of due process as assured by its own Constitution.
Using a well-orchestrated smear campaign, it proceeded to influence, threaten
and cajole other governments around the world into disrupting Osho’s work
wherever he went.
This harassment began on Osho’s
return to India in November of 1985. The visas of his Western personal
attendants were summarily canceled, and Western jounalists and other visitors
wishing to see him were also refused visas. He journeyed to Nepal. Even
though the king of Nepal had been personally interested in Osho and his
work for dacades, Osho was not allowed to stay. The American, who give
substantial aid to that small country, were against all hospitality being
extended to Osho – again attempting to separate him from his disciples.
THE WORLD TOUR
In February, Osho set off on a
world tour which began with a visit to the Greek island of Crete.
However, as a result of this U.
S. pressure, a total of twenty one countries either deported Osho or refused
him entry. Among these so-called free, democratic nations were Greece,
Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, U.K. West Germany, Holland, Canada, Jamaica,
Although condemned almost universally
by power elites an opinion makers, Osho’s arguments and challenges have
never been directly answered by anyone.
In July, Osho went back to Mumbay,
and immediately his disciples began gathering around him once more.
OSHO COMMUNE INTERNATIONAL
In January, to accommodate the
rapidly growing number of seekers, he returned to Pune to the Osho Commune
Intenational. Despite the public slander and clamor, Osho has since attracted
an ever-increasing number of talented, intelligent, and creative people
from around the world.
Today, in the presence of this
remarkable mystic, thousands and thousands are participating in the creation
of an oasis of consciousness, which is envolving into the most powerful
center of meditation on the globe.
Along with condemnation from people
in power, every where, has come much lavish praise from the intelligentsia.
“A great man... the most dangerous
man since Jesus Christ.”, said Tom Robbins, a best-selling American
“Osho is one of the most important
educators and philosophic and religious leaders in the late 20th century.”,
declared Robert Rimmer, another famous American writer.
Kazuyoushi Kino, Professor of Buddhist
Studies in Japan, has called Osho, “the rarest and most talented religiounist
to appear in this century.”
Perhaps M. V. Kamath, the noted
Indian literary figure, speaks for millions of Osho’s admires around the
world when he says: “There has never been anyone like him before. It
is doubtful whether there will be anyone like him again. Anyone who can
turn over two dozen governments against him must have something in him.
One suspects it is intellectual honesty of a rare kind.
“There have been others like
him at different times. A Walt Whitman, a Bernard Shaw, a Bertrand Russell,
iconoclasts in their own way and with an abundance of talent. But they,
even while they paid a certain price, knew where to stop.
“Osho pulls all stops. He is
freedom without end.”.