Let me start with a riddle: Can you think of a man who was never born but yet walked on this planet and created a spiritual empire?
Sounds strange, right?
I am talking about Bhagwan Rajneesh, more fondly remembered as Osho.
This is the story of a man who brought a new dimension of existence and gave a fresh perspective to life. Osho has talked about each aspect of life, including love, lust, hate, fear, anger, happiness, bliss, liberation, pain, and misery. He had this innate ability to bring new insights to his discourses, which mesmerized more than hundreds of thousands of his sannyasins worldwide.
One of the many things that caught my attention was watching the video “OSHO: There Is No Tomorrow” on YouTube. After the intro music, I read “silence shared in words,” which was my first moment of epiphany. And then there was no stopping. Today, I have already read about 70 books by Osho and have no plans to stop increasing my book collection yet.
I will share his core philosophies later in this article, but before that, I will shed light on Osho’s lifestyle.
Let me start by asking you a simple question: What comes to your mind when you think about a yogi? Do you see a bearded man wearing a saffron-clad dhoti with a sacred white thread dropping from the left shoulder to the right?
Osho’s attire was entirely different from that of a traditional spiritual leader. He donned long gowns that stretched from head to toe, wore diamond-studded wristwatches, and often held a black notebook that resembled the modern-day i-pad. But what differentiated him from others was his penetrating gaze. He would rarely blink his eyes. Osho believed that two people should stare at each other’s eyes while communicating as it helps discover the deep ocean of existence that lies dormant within us.
Osho said, and I quote:
“If you don’t think, if you just stare into the eyes, soon the waves will disappear and the ocean will be revealed…. If you can look deep down into the eyes, you will feel that the man has disappeared, the person has disappeared. Some oceanic phenomenon is hidden behind, and this person was just a waving of a depth, a wave of something unknown, hidden.
“Do it first with a human being, because you are closer to that type of wave. Then move to animals — a little more distant. Then move to trees — still more distant waves; then move to the rocks.
Osho was famous (and infamous) for making several pathbreaking statements. Some of his core philosophies include:
1. Accept everything and reject nothing.
2. Awake. Become aware. Unless you are conscious of your actions, you are not a human.
3. Total freedom is the only goal. Nothing less than that would work.
4. The world needs a new man, Zorba – The Buddha. Zorba represents the consumerism of the west, while Buddha portrays the bliss of the east. The new man must be a confluence of the west and the east.
Well, these are not his exact words. Instead, they are my interpretations of his teaching.
It’s vital to mention that Osho had staunchly criticized few men of his times, including:
1. Ronald Reagan, the then president of the United States of America.
2. Shankaracharya, the Hindu guru.
3. Mahatma Gandhi
And many more.
Osho was not a massive advocate of surface realities. He had an innate ability to look deep into a person’s heart and identify their intentions. For example, he criticized Gandhi by saying, and I quote, “His (Gandhi’s) poverty is very costly.” Rajneesh said that Gandhi’s goat was washed and bathed with lux, a costly soap, and ate food that cost Rs. 10, a reasonably high amount in the mid 20th century. Osho also came into the bad books of Hindu fundamentalists because he strongly criticized Shankaracharya. He also went on to the extent of saying that only 2% of the Vedas contain knowledge. Rest 98% is entirely rubbish.
Apart from his rebellious teachings, Bhagwan Rajneesh also had his fair share of criticisms. Do you know that he owned 93 Rolls Royces and expressed his desire to have one for each day of the year? Osho often referred to himself as the rich man’s guru. He was against the old traditions that forced people to remain poor to achieve moksha. Many haters blamed him for adhering to hedonistic philosophy and his immense love for unabashed materialism. Osho openly talked about sensitive subjects like sex and also achieved the contemptuous title “Sex guru.”
In the early ’80s, Osho established a commune in Oregon, United States of America, named Rajneeshpuram. This township had its police, fire department, malls, restaurants, townhouses, post office, and reservoirs. But eventually, things turned ugly as some followers of Rajneesh were found involved in crimes and had to go through lengthy legal battles. Consequently, the commune received flak and was eventually shut down. If you want to gain more information about why Osho had to leave America, you should watch the recent Netflix documentary “Wild Wild Country.”
Osho was also called the first VHS guru globally, as all his lectures were recorded in an audio-visual format and made available on video cassettes. He has given lectures on every philosopher, prophet, messiah, and avatar, such as Krishna, Ram, Buddha, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, George Gurdjieff, Aristotle, Plato, Sartre, Khalil Gibran, and many others.
Today, thousands of devotees visit the Osho international center in Pune to learn instructor-led meditation techniques. The center sells millions of books and ebooks every year and is gaining significant followership worldwide.
Recently, a news report revealed that a biopic on Osho titled “Secrets of Love” will soon hit the cinema theaters. Celebrated actor Ravi Kishan will portray the life of the self-proclaimed godman. Let’s see whether he lives up to the mark and brings the magic of Osho on the big screen.
Osho has received praises from esteemed personalities like Dalai Lama, K.R Narayana, and Deepak Chopra. Tom Robbins, a celebrated author, called Osho the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ because he said things that nobody else dared to say.
Osho’s epitaph reads, “Never born never died. Only visited this planet Earth between Dec 11, 1931 – Jan 19, 1990.” Such gigantic souls are neither born nor do they die. They rise from the heart of the universe, spend some time spreading bliss and consciousness, and then diffuse back to the source.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I have read more than 70 books by Osho. The four core philosophies that I have shared in this article are my interpretations of his teachings.
Here are five sources that you must read to gain a deeper knowledge about Osho:
Here are the links that I used while researching for the article:
1. Experience of Osho’s Pune center: https://www.dailyo.in/arts/osho-ashram-netflix-documentary-series-wild-wild-country-bhagwan-rajneesh-/story/1/23219.html
2. Ravi Kishan to play as Osho: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/ravi-kishan-cast-as-spiritual-leader-osho-in-his-biopic-secrets-of-love-9336731.html
3. Who killed Osho:
5. Quotes on Ronald Regan by Osho:
6. Quotes on Buddha by Osho: