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Osho Rajneesh

Osho is one of the brightest, most radical and controversial spiritual masters not only of the 20th century, but probably the whole history of spirituality. Throughout his whole life he continuously questioned and challenged the status quo of the society, culture and religion; he caused so much public controversy and disagreement that no other master ever did. His immensely profound vision keeps inspiring spiritual seekers and intellectuals, in his analysis he goes with great clarity to the very roots of the issues of human life and society.

Osho Rajneesh was born in a brahmin family in a small village of central India. The first years of his life he spent with his grandparents, which didn’t interfere in his life and let him grow in absolute freedom. From the early childhood he had a rebellious and non-compromising spirit, he used to question everything and argue with everybody. After the death of his grandfather he moved back to his parents, and at the age of 9 his father made him go to school, which he never liked and was spending most of the time outside on his own. He took deep interest in reading, which remained with him throughout his life; later on he used to read 8-10 books a day. After finishing school he decided to study philosophy, and moved away from his family to a bigger city. His intense spiritual search led to the enlightenment experience in the age of 21, which he kept secret for the next 20 years. Despite having continuous discussions with his professors, and being expelled from one college for that, he graduated with brilliant marks and started teaching philosophy himself as a professor. He was already known as a great speaker during his college years, and he continues giving public talks in different contests, conferences and meetings all over the country. In the 60s he gained popularity as a religious teacher, and started giving courses of meditation. In 1970 Osho moved to Bombay; he stopped speaking in public events and only received a small audience of close disciples. In a few years he moved to a nearby city of Poona, where his followers created an ashram for his growing movement. In the mid 70s he introduced modern psychotherapy methods, combining them with traditional and new meditation techniques, and his commune started growing rapidly. The lifestyle in the commune was multidimensional – apart from meditation and therapy it involved art, music, dance and other forms of creativity. By the beginning of 80s a small commune in the suburb housed a few thousand people, and Osho decided to search for a bigger place. In 1981 he moved to a newly purchased property in Oregon, US, and went into silence for more than 3 years. Thousands of his followers worked day and night to build a new commune on 260 km2 of deserted land. The new community faced increasing problems with the conservative local population, which saw them as a religious cult, as well as with the authorities. By 1985 the conflict escalated; eventually the commune was surrounded by the military, Osho was arrested and charged with numerous crimes, of which only 2 minor offenses were proved. Being under arrest he was supposedly poisoned by the government, which eventually made his health deteriorate quickly. After being released he tried to enter 21 different countries, all of them denied him entry for no obvious reason. Finally Osho returned to his indian ashram, and his followers started gathering there again after the dismission of the american commune. He continued giving daily discourses until the last months of his life, when he stopped because of the health issues, and was only coming out to be with his disciples in silence.

Osho was speaking on a wide range of subjects, his talks are published in more than 600 books. His teachings are contradictory, it is actually impossible to make any system out of them, and he was doing that intentionally. He was continuously criticizing the established religions, social values, morality and politics, that are enslaving and conditioning the individual. The human being and his personal freedom is the highest value, but the society in all ways tries to adjust and cultivate the individual to make use of him. Thus rebellion is one of the key ideas of Osho. Instead of the ready-made rules and dogmas one should follow his intelligence and awareness, because every situation is uniquely different. The central idea of Osho’s teaching is awareness – it is the essence of meditation, constant awareness is the best way of practice. Osho realized, that the traditional sitting meditation has become difficult for the modern person, so he created new forms of active meditation, which include breathing, body movements and dance. He was the first spiritual master, who started giving sannyas (spiritual initiation) without any requirements; according to him the essence of sannyas is the search for truth, so it doesn’t require preparation and conditions. Another important concept of Osho is wholeness – one has to find the balance and completion in both spiritual and material spheres, uniting the both opposites together. The opposites are just two sides of the same phenomenon, and all the ideas of good and bad are relative. Through meditation one finds the way beyond the opposites and transcends both of them; everything becomes one, united and whole. Every human being is already complete and perfect as he is, but because he is surrounded by the cloud of ego and mind, he cannot see his enlightened nature, which is already present here and now. The only way for real transformation is to accept yourself totally as you are, then eventually the negativity, old patterns and desires drop by themselves without any struggle.

Osho’s message of sexual, emotional and spiritual liberation and his opened expression of contempt for politicians and spiritual leaders caused a great deal of controversy around his life. His radical teachings (especially his acceptance of free sex) contradicted traditional values and aroused a great deal of anger and opposition, especially in the establishment. At the same time he was readily accepted by many of the western youth, which saw his ideas as a long awaited voice of freedom. Interestingly, after his demise his personality and teaching has become much more accepted in the pubic opinion, and he is now officially described as one of the greatest thinkers and spiritual teachers of India. Just as Osho was saying – when the master is alive, everybody is against him, when he is dead, they create a religion and start worshiping him.

 

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7 thoughts on “Osho Rajneesh

    1. You have a point 🙂 The very idea of rating gurus is somehow absurd. It kind of implies, that a person rating is some higher authority that can judge. Well, this rating is not such a serious thing. The creator of the page wanted to have it. When I was asked to do the content, I was also doubting the idea, and didn’t want to give all these stars. Any sort of conclusion or judgement in this sphere is bound to be personal. Actually, I will talk to the admin, and maybe he can change this rating system into something else.

  1. hmmm… so in short Osho, Krisnamurti, Ramakrishna & Maharshi are all brilliant & wonderful are receive your highest gushing praise. The rest are ‘so-so’ or outright awful. Your preference is for either the uber ascetic renunciate like Maharashi or the ‘crazy wisdom’ of the likes of Osho and Gurdjieff. Anything else is ‘meh’.

    Does that about cover this website?

    1. No. First, 3 stars doesn’t mean “meh”. I would call it “good”. In fact, many of these teachers are good for their specific audiences. Ozen Rajneesh is great, but he is somehow too mystical and limited for a few people, and hard to grasp for the “wide audience”. Sadhguru is very good. Anandamayi is a beautifuil mystic, and so is Meher Baba. Aurobindo and Yogananda are definitely good for some people, and for sure they did their good job for humanity. So is Prabhupada, who actually created a great movement, his path has lots of beauty in it. Sai Baba’s teachings are beautiful too, Vivekanda did a good job, as well as Thich Nhat Hanh. Even Dalai Lama, though he is a formal leader of an organised religion, is also good in many ways. In fact a lot can be said for and against most of them. When I give ratings, I rather look at the depth of the teaching, and the sharpness of the vision. From that perspective Osho is greater than the Sadhguru, which copies him. And Sadhguru is greater, than Prabhupada just repeating the same ancient scriptures.

  2. Seriously??? This man sanctioned the poisoning of a town in order to sway votes in his favor, he owned how many Rolls Royce vehicles?, was a known drug addict, endorced the use of violence and bearing arms against those who didn’t agree with him, rounded up homeless people off the street and used them to sway votes, then abandoned them on the streets of Portland OR…… and this is the guy you give 5 stars to? This website is a joke!

    1. Seriously. Were you sitting there and listening, when he sanctioned the poisoning? How do you know it was him? There were many things happening there, and I don’t think he was so omniscient to sit in his room and know everything that his secretary is doing. He owned Rolls Royces, so what? Is it a crime? I believe it was a good move to attract public attention, and it came into press, so it worked well. In fact the american commune started getting loans only after that Rolls Royce story, cos people though he has money. Known grug addict? Known to whom? Was it you who sold him drugs and saw him taking it? You say he “endorced the use of violence and bearing arms against those who didn’t agree with him”. Which violence did he endorce? I actually spoke to people, who lived in that commune, and not just 1-2, but about 8 of them. They say by 1984 the situation with the local population became tough, so they introduced armed guards inside the commune, which is a private property and is allowed to have security, keeping guns for self-defence is also legal. That was inside the property, they didn’t march with their guns on the streets of the nearby towns. And the locals were actually threatening them, and they also had guns. Don’t you think it is appropriate to have armed security when your neighbours threaten to come and take over your place? Then he “rounded up homeless people off the street and used them to sway votes”. Yes, this is nasty, I agree. But again, now nobody knows who had this idea. In the court Osho claimed he didn’t know anything about this, and in fact his only proven primes were violation of immigration laws and arranging fake marriages for his people. I don’t think it is a big thing, millions of people are doing it in the US. But his secretary was found guilty and served a term in jail. I am giving him five stars for his brilliant teachings and his clear and profound vision.

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