1. Youth - Enlightenment - University studies: 1931-1957
Born in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh, India on
December 11, 1931, Osho says of his parents, "I had chosen this couple for their love, their
intimacy, their almost one-ness." Growing in an atmosphere of tremendous love,
freedom and respect, Osho was an intuitive and adventurous child with the knack
of penetrating to the very heart of a situation. Exploring life fearlessly and
intensely, he insisted on experiencing life for himself rather than acquiring
beliefs or knowledge given by others. "My childhood was certainly golden - not a
symbol, absolutely golden; not poetically but literally, factually... Those
years were unforgettable."
When he was seven years old, his maternal grandfather
with his head in Osho′s lap as they traveled in the back of a bullock cart
on the long journey to reach the nearest doctor. This had a profound effect on
his inner life, provoking in him a determination to discover that which is deathless.
"I learned much in that moment of his silence...," Osho said later,
"I started on a new search, a new pilgrimage." This, and other stories in
Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, give rich insight into Osho′s early years, and
the innocent spirit of the flame of rebellion and playfulness he brought to
every endeavor in his life.
At the age of twenty-one, Osho became enlightened. "For many
lives I had been working on myself, struggling, doing whatsoever can be done -
and nothing was happening. The very effort was a barrier... Not that one can
reach without seeking. Seeking is needed, but then comes a point when seeking
has to be dropped... And that day the search stopped... it started happening. A
new energy arose... 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 - and I was thinking
it was very far away. And it was so near..."
A full account of his enlightenment
can be found in his book The Discipline of Transcendence. After his enlightenment on March 21, 1953, Osho graduated from the University of
Saugar with first class honors in
philosophy. While a student,
he won the
All-India Debating Championship. He was a professor of philosophy at the
University of Jabalpur for nine years.
2. Travel all over India - lecturing, teaching: 1957 - 1974
(then called Acharya Rajneesh) traveled throughout India giving talks, challenging
religious leaders in public debate and meeting people from all walks of life. He
read extensively, everything he could find to broaden his understanding of the
belief systems and psychology of contemporary man.
Osho had now begun to develop his unique
Modern man, he said, was so burdened with the outmoded traditions of
the past and the anxieties of modern-day living that he must go through a deep
cleansing process before he could hope to discover the thought-less, relaxed
state of meditation. He began to hold meditation camps around India, giving
talks to the participants and personally conducting sessions of the meditations
he had developed.
In 1962 Osho opens his first Meditations Centres known as Jivan Jagruti Kendras (Life Awakening Centres), and
names his movement Jivan Jagruti Andolan (Life Awakening Movement). As of 1967 he started to initiate people into
In 1969 followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi invited Osho to talk to them. This was the first occasion on which Osho addressed
a western audience, and the first time he talked publicly at length in English.
In 1970 Osho decided to stop traveling and settled in Bombay where he continued
to give regular public lectures. By the following year, he had begun to attract
a small Western following, and these early Westerners enjoyed personal and close
relationships with their master. Among their number was a shy
twenty-two-year-old English woman named Christine Wolff. Taking on the name
Yoga Vivek, she became Osho′s constant companion.
The Rising Moon video is a unique recording of the earliest phase: starting with the famous meditation camps in Mount
Abu, continuing through Osho staying in a Bombay apartment and up to the Ashram in
Poona. An account of what the video is all about.
Download The Rising Moon video (345 MB, 352 x 288, .mpg-file, right-click and ′save link as′)
For more than thirty-five years Osho worked
directly with people
who came to him, sharing his vision of a "New Man"
the Buddha", and inspiring them to
experiment with a life based in meditation. Bridging the ancient truths of
simpler times with the current reality of man, he created numerous meditation
techniques which give seekers an avenue to experience the ultimate.
the complexities of life needed to be addressed, he worked closely with many
prominent therapists from the West to create new therapies based in meditation.
is one of the many who took sannyas from Osho in 1976.
builds up what he calls a
When Osho left for the U.S.A, quite a few sannyasins were taken by surprise and felt like they were left behind. A sannyasin remembers...
A video clip covering a
period of time of the 1970′s in Osho′s Ashram in Pune (Poona 1). The electronic
music track is by the German hard rock band Scorpions.
In 1979 Osho′s early evening darshans became "energy
darshans" in which, rather than discussing issues with individuals, he would
transmit energy to them (shaktipat) by pressing on their "third eye". A number of female
sannyasins were chosen as mediums to transmit his energy more widely.
Osho gave many wooden boxes to sannyasins to help them cope with the challenging West and to assist in transcending bodily, emotional
and mental problems, should these appear in the course of their meditation. These boxes contain Osho′s nail and hair clippings, which are
saturated with the master's vibe; here′s a picture.
At the beginning of Osho′s lecture Ma Taru sang a devotional intro.
On this short video,
with moving an still images, you can hear her sing. (Download video by right-clicking and opting for "save target (or link) as")
4. Rajneeshpuram: 1981 - 1985
After his initial work in India, Osho was invited to America
where a bold communal experiment to translate his vision into a living reality
began. Ma Anand Sheela, Osho′s private secretary at the time, and a few other women were in
charge. Thousands of Osho′s disciples poured their love into a
barren piece of land
and began to transform it into a flowering oasis in the desert.
presence and the success of the commune revealed the hypocrisies inherent in the
beliefs and prejudices of the current age, particularly in the religious and
political establishment. The antagonism of these groups toward Osho and the
commune mounted, and after only four years, after
a short stay in an American
prison, he was forced to leave America.
is described in a book by Max Brecher called A Passage to America. Read
more about it here. The inhabitants of a nearby little town, called Antelope, were glad that Osho and his
people were gone, as is clear from
a plaque at the base of
the Antelope post office flagpole, to mark that time.
The inscription reads: "Dedicated to those of this community who, through the Rajneesh invasion and
occupation of 1981-85, remained, resisted, and remembered."
Another video giving a taste of what Rajneeshpuram was like: The Way of
the Heart. Download this video
(303MB, 352 x 288 VCD, right-click and ′save link as′)
A rare video of Osho getting a guided tour of the Zorba store in Antelope,
surrounded by sannyasins (.mp4 file, 40.2 MB, to download right-click link and opt for "save target as")
In the Rajneeshpuram period many Rolls-Royce cars were given to Osho by his
disciples. The Rolls-Royces were one reason why Osho became notorious. Towards
the end of Rajneeshpuram Osho could choose between 93 Rolls-Royces and he had
the intention to have at his disposal a fleet of 365, one for each day of the year.
He has this to say about it.
When Osho left the USA, his Rolls-Royces were up for sale, something which
perturbed executives at the carmaker′s U.S. headquarters:
Rajneeshpuram was legally incorporated on May 18, 1982 and survived the last attack on its legality (on land use grounds) in a 1987 Oregon Supreme Court decision. Ironically,
by that time, the thousands of red-clad sannyasins who had transformed the once barren Big Muddy Ranch into a thriving city had long since deserted it after Osho′s
controversial deportation on unproven minor immigration charges in 1985.
In a taped interview, Charles Turner, the US Attorney for Oregon, finally admitted, "We were using the criminal process to solve what was really a political problem."
So much for upholding constitutional freedoms of religion and speech.
Osho had several interviews with the World Press to expose and explain what had happened in Rajneeshpuram. Here′s
a 30 seconds excerpt from
an interview with Jim Gordon, journalist at The Atlantic Monthly Magazine, and
The Washington Post (a .flv file). Excerpts
from an interview with Mike Wolfe KBND Radio, Bend, Oregon. "I am destroying
the whole idea of the separation, of a split between matter and mind, body and
soul, materialism and spiritualism." - Osho
Osho explains to Mike Wolfe how ignorant psychologists can be:
interesting (and only slightly biased) view of the happenings at the end of the
Ranch. The writer is Sarmad (aka Kent Welton), an established writer and
musician. The Osho Story at ZorbaTheBuddha gives a good account of commune
Sambodhi, Nura, Samarpan, and Felix visited what used to be Rajneeshpuram:
began a World Tour. He is refused entry by 21 countries. In the midst of this campaign of worldwide persecution orchestrated by the US Government, Osho responds with
characteristic humor and uncompromising honesty, publicly challenging his persecutors and at the same time showering his love unconditionally, giving some of his most intimate
talks to disciples who gathered around him wherever he went.
While Osho went on a World Tour, many sannyasins left the USA and spread
all over the world. A substantial part of them landed in Ibiza.
Anthropologist Anthony d′Andrea, aka Techno Tony, has spent recent years
investigating club/rave centres around the World, researching a PHD thesis
on ′Club Cultures′. He writes in
file that sannyasins
became a crucial bridge between Ibiza′s 60s counterculture and the 90s
electronic dance subculture.
Osho was denied entry by the UK. Here′s a selection of 10 other ′controversial′ figures
arbitrarily banned from this country. British humour arguably at its best.
6. Osho in Poona 2: 1986 - 1990
Finally, Osho returned to Poona, India, giving talks
twice a day.
Thousands of seekers from around the world came together again to be in the
presence of this rare buddha and mystic, and a new commune grew around him. It
was during this time that Osho announced that he did not want to be called
Bhagwan again: "Enough is enough! The joke is over." In these years of his final
discourses, Osho gradually began to withdraw from public activities. His fragile
health often prevented him from giving discourses, and the periods of his
absence grew longer. He introduced a new element into his discourses, guiding
his audience into a three-stage meditation at the end of each sitting. Eventually he delivered his last discourse series, answering questions and
commenting on Zen sutras.
After his failing health had caused him to stop giving
discourses, a message came that the name Rajneesh was also being dropped. Many
of his disciples had already collectively decided to call him Osho. He has
explained that the word ′Osho′ is derived from William James′ expression ′oceanic
experience′ which means dissolving into the ocean. "Oceanic describes the
experience," says Osho, "but what about the experiencer? For that we use the
In the following months, whenever his health permitted, he would
appear in the evening to sit with his disciples and friends in a meditation of
music and silence, after which he would retire to his room while the assembly
watched one of his videotaped discourses. These sittings together with Osho are
White Robe Brotherhood Meetings.
In the last year of his life, Osho organised an administration of his closest
disciples to take care of his work after he had left his body. Osho himself
chose the 21 members of this inner circle who could contribute in the
administrative work and who had different areas of expertise. This committee was to make decisions unanimously. Members of the inner circle were for life, only
to be replaced after death by the remaining members. After a while, the required unanimity making quick action impossible according to some, a group of 6 people
formed within the inner circle, called "The Præsidium", which, over time, became decisive in policy
making; this led to struggles within the inner circle whereupon many members
left. Nowadays only three people take care of the management of Osho′s legacy, three people of non-Indian descent, which contributes to disagreements between leading Indian
and non-Indian disciples.
On 19 January 1990 Osho leaves his body after a long sickness due to his poisoning by the US- Government in 1985. His body was brought to Buddha Hall the same evening so that his Sannyasins could give him a send off. Later on his body was carried to the burning ghat at the river near the ashram and cremated in a large celebration with all his Sannyasins.
Just a few weeks before his demise, Osho was asked what would happen to his work when he was gone.
"My trust in existence is absolute. 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. I will remain a source of inspiration to my people. I want them to grow
on their own - qualities like love, around which no church can be created, like awareness, which is nobody′s monopoly; like celebration,
rejoicing, and remaining fresh, childlike eyes. I want my people to know themselves, not to be according to someone else. And the way is in."
He also said:
"If you have loved me, I will live with you forever. In your love, I will live. If you have loved me,
my body will disappear but I cannot die for you...
Even if I am gone I know you will search for me. Yes, I can trust you will hunt for me in every stone and flower, in every eye and star...
And I can promise you one thing: if you hunt for me, you will find me - in every star and every eye - because if you have really loved a
Master, you have moved into eternity with him. The relationship is not of time; it is timeless.
There is going to be no death. My body will disappear, your body will disappear - that will not make any change. If the disappearance of the
body makes any change, it simply shows that love had not happened.
Love is something beyond the body. Bodies come and go, love remains. Love has eternity in it - timelessness, deathlessness."
(Osho - The Divine Melody #10)
Sitting with the Master
From the supplement to the Osho Times International of February 1 1990
A few days before Osho left his body, he said he would like his people all over the world to sit in meditation each evening at 7.00 pm (their
local time). He suggested that people first watch a video of the meeting of White Robe Brotherhood
to see exactly what has been happening during the evening meetings in Poona. From then on, they can sit in silent meditation with their eyes
closed, with the video providing the period of music and silence.
A very touching video, titled I Leave You My Dream, was made on the evening when Osho′s personal physician Amrito declared
Osho′s death and announced his last words to his sannyasins.
Download I Leave You My Dream
(293 MB, 352 x 288 VCD, right-click and ′save link as′).
Osho once mentioned in Nansen: The Point of Departure #10:
I want to remind you
that whether I am here or not
the celebration has to continue.
If I am not here
then it has to be more intense
and it has to spread around the world
Celebration is my religion
Love is my message
Silence is my truth
People who want to take Osho′s neo-sannyas should read this.
Meanwhile most members have left the inner circle; the few remaining
people are in charge of an administrative body called Osho International Foundation,
that manages Osho′s Ashram in Pune (the Ashram is also called ′Osho International
Meditation Resort′). A conflict has arisen between Osho International
Foundation and a few Indian disciples - like Arun, Keerti and
Neelam, who have organised themselves in
Osho Friends International.
reason of the conflict lies in that the resort management wants to avoid
Osho′s sannyas movement to turn into a formal religion. Devotional practices are discouraged; Osho′s birthday
isn′t even celebrated anymore in the Poona Ashram.
Traveling to and living in Poona
If you travel to India and want to recover from your trip and acclimatise before moving on to Osho′s Ashram in Poona, you can do so at
Anamika Music and Meditation Center, located in Goa.
To book for rooms close to the Osho International Meditation Resort, write to Abhipsa and Ekanta.
If ever you travel to Pune (India), there′s one food lane where you won′t have to look far to find a restaurant to
your taste... and that′s ′Koregaon Park Road′. Koregaon Park, synonymous with
the ′Osho International Commune′, is one of the major tourist attractions in
Pune. And with well established and reputed eateries and restaurants, as well as
new ones popping up everyday, Koregaon Park or KP as it′s called by locals, has
become a major hot spot for dinning and eating out.
One of the oldest and best known in sannyas circles is the German Bakery.
Sadly the German Bakery has been completely destroyed in a bomb blast on February 13th 2010, with 15 people killed and 50+ injured:
Another name for Vedic, Hindu or Indian astrology is
Jyotish. "Jyoti" means light or flame and "Ish" means God. Jyotish thus means
Lord of the light.
Thanks to satellite images of
Kuchwada on the internet it is now possible to determine the exact
co-ordinates of this little village. Before the internet, one had to locate
Kuchwada on a map and had therefore only approximate co-ordinates to calculate
Osho′s horoscope in Sannyas-Magazin of 5/1980 was calculated with a time of
birth of 17:13 hrs, with Gadarwara as birthplace and co-ordinates of Bhopal.
Prasad, a sannyasin-astrologer, once mentioned that at first he had used 17:30
hrs as time of birth, this according to what Osho′s mother remembered. Osho′s
time of birth has never been officially recorded. At the Ranch, Prasad once
asked Osho′s mother again, urging her to try and be as precise as possible. She
then said Osho′s birthtime to be 17:08 hrs.
So, we now accurately have: Osho, 11.12.1931, 17:08 hrs (LMT = GMT+5:13:24)
Kuchwada / Madhya Pradesh, India, 23N09, 78E21
The left Vedic horoscope is shown with a diamond-like design typical for present North-Indian astrology (a design also prominent in medieval astrology in the West, by the way). The
rising sign is Taurus and signs are counted counterclockwise. Note the cluster of planets in the eighth house in Sagittarius.
The right horoscope is Osho′s Burmese horoscope, also called Mahabote. Osho was born "Mohan Chandra Rajneesh". "Mohan Chandra" means "Full
Moon"; "Rajneesh" means "Lord of the Night" from Sanskrit "rajani" "night" and "isha" "lord, ruler". This may be
reflected in the Moon of Osho′s Mahabote horoscope being on top in the "leader house".