people thought of him as a guru of hedonism, an impressario
of spiritual Mardi Gras. Tens of
thousands of seekers jetted across oceans to his ashrams
and communes to participate in giddy, high-energy experiments
in living and consciousness.
But he was
also a professor of philosophy, a lover of literature,
and the author of an extraordinary library of books
that explain the Hindu and Buddhist scriptures in matter-of-fact,
the 1980s, he and his followers built a 65,000-acre
city from scratch in the Oregon wilderness. Some people
called it an experiment to provoke God, and others called
it a fascist concentration camp.
Controversy surrounded him; he was accused of crimes
and eventually deported from the United States for violations
of immigration law.
He has left
us a great legacy: his books. We think they are the
clearest maps of the roads to enlightenment that anybody
drew during the twentieth century.
in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh, India on December 11, 1931.
His parents gave him the name Rajneesh Chandra Mohan
and raised him as a Jain. When he was seven, his grandfather
died with his head in Osho's lap while riding to the
doctor in a bullock cart. Osho became enlightened at
21 and graduated at about the same time 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. In 1966, he left his teaching
post and established an ashram in Bombay. In 1974, he
left Bombay and established an ashram in Poona. In 1981,
he moved to the United States and established an ashram
in Oregon. In 1986 he was deported from the United States
for violations of immigration law (to which he pleaded
no contest) and returned to Poona. He died on January
a wonderful description of his awakening -- perhaps
the best account of enlightenment that has ever been
written. It's on the
and was able to interpret almost every method that anybody
ever used to gain enlightenment, but the technique he
stressed above all else was the habit of watching the
mind. This leads to mindlessness, which in turn leads
to enlightenment. He explains this technique here.