- 1953 Early Years
December 11,1931: Osho is
born in Kuchwada, a small village in the state of Madhya Pradesh,
is the eldest of eleven children of a Jaina cloth merchant.
Stories of His early years describe Him as independent and
rebellious as a child, questioning all social, religious and
philosophical beliefs. As a youth He experiments with meditation
21, 1953: \o becomes enlightened at the age of twenty-one, while
majoring in philosophy at D.N. Jain college in Jabalpur.
1953 - 1956 Education
1956: Osho receives His
M.A. from the University of Sagar with First Class Honors in
is the All-India Debating Champion and Gold Medal winner in His
University Professor and Public Speaker
Osho is appointed as a professor at the Sanskrit College in Raipur.
He is appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of
Jabalpur, where He taught until 1966.
powerful and passionate debater, He also travels widely in India,
speaking to large audiences and challenging orthodox religious
leaders in public debates.
After nine years of teaching, He leaves the university to devote
Himself entirely to the raising of human consciousness. On a
regular basis, He begins to address gatherings 20,000 to 50,000 in
the open-air maidans of India’s major cities. Four times a year
He conducts intense ten-day meditation camps.
1970, the 14th of April, He introduces His revolutionary
meditation technique, dynamic Meditation, which begins with a
period of uninhibited movement and catharsis, followed by a period
of silence and stillness. Since then this meditation technique has
been used by psychotherapists, medical doctors, teachers and other
professionals around the world .
- 1974 Mumbai Years
Late 1960’s: His Hindi talks become available in English
In July, 1970, He moves to Mumbai, where He lives until 1974.
Osho - at this time called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh - begins to
initiate seekers into Neo-Sannyas or discipleship, a path of
commitment to self-exploration and meditation which does not
involve renouncing the world or anything else. Osho’s
understanding of ‘Sannyas’ is a radical departure from the
traditional Eastern viewpoint. For Him it is not the material
world that needs to be renounced but our past and the
conditionings and belief systems that each generation imposes on
the next. He continues to conduct meditation camps at
Mount Abu in
Rajasthan but stops accepting invitations to speak throughout the
country. He devotes his energies entirely to the rapidly expanding
group of sannyasins around Him.
At this time, the first Westerners begin to arrive and to be
initiated into Neo-Sannyas. Among them are leading
psychotherapists from the human potential movement in Europe and
America, seeking the next step in their own inner growth. With
Osho they experience new, original meditation techniques for
contemporary man, synthesizing the wisdom of the East with the
science of the West.
- 1981 Poona Ashram
During these seven years
He gives a 90 minutes discourse nearly every morning, alternating
every month between Hindi and English. His discourses offer
insights into all the major spiritual paths, including Yoga, Zen,
Taoism, Tantra and Sufism. He also speaks on Gautam Buddha, Jesus,
Lao Tzu, and other mystics. These discourses have been collected
into over 600 volumes and translated into 50 languages.
the evenings, during these years, He answers questions on personal
matters such as love, jealousy, meditation. These ‘darshans’
are compiled in 64 darshan diaries of which 40 are published.
commune that arose around Osho at this time offers a wide variety
of therapy groups which combine Eastern meditation techniques with
Western psychotherapy. Therapists from all over the world are
attracted and by 1980 the international community gained a
reputation as ‘ the world’s finest growth and therapy
center.’ One hundred thousand people pass through its gates each
He develops a degenerative back condition. In March 1981, after
giving daily discourses for nearly 15 years, Osho begins a
three-year period of self-imposed public silence. In view of the
possible need for emergency surgery, and on the recommendation of
His personal doctors, He travels to the U.S. This same year, His
American disciples purchase a 64,000-acre ranch in Oregon and
invite Him to visit. He eventually agrees to stay in the U.S. and
allows an application for permanent residence to be filed on His
1981 - 1985 Rajneeshpuram
A model agricultural
commune rises from the ruins of the central Oregonian high desert.
Thousands of overgrazed and economically unviable acres are
reclaimed. The city of Rajneeshpuram is incorporated and
eventually provides services to 5,000 residents. Annual summer
festivals are held which draw 15,000 visitors from all over the
world. Very quickly, Rajneeshpuram becomes the largest spiritual community ever pioneered in America.
to the commune and new city keeps pace with its success.
Responding to the
anti-cult fervor which pervades all levels of American society
during the Reagan years, local, state and federal politicians make
inflammatory speeches against the Rajneeshees. The Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS), the Federal Bureau of Investigations
(FBI), the Treasury Department, and the Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms Agency (ATF) are only a few of the agencies spending
millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money while harassing the
commune with unwarranted and fruitless investigations. Similar
costly campaigns are conducted in Oregon.
1984: Osho ends three and one half years of self-imposed silence.
1985: He resumes His public discourses each morning to thousands
of seekers gathered in a two-acre meditation hall.
- Oct. 1985: The Oregon Commune is Destroyed
14: Osho’s personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela and several
members of the commune’s management suddenly leave, and a whole
pattern of illegal acts they have committed - including poisoning,
arson, wiretapping, and attempted murder - are exposed. Osho
invites law enforcement officials to investigate Sheela’s
crimes. The authorities, however, see the investigation as a
golden opportunity to destroy the commune entirely.
23: A U.S. federal grand jury in Portland secretly indicts Osho
and 7 others on relatively minor charges of immigration fraud.
28: Without warrants, federal and local officials arrest at gun
point Osho and others in Charlotte, North Carolina. While the
others are released, He is held without bail for twelve days. A
five-hour return plane trip to Oregon takes four days. En route,
Osho is held incommunicado and forced to register under the
pseudonym, David Washington, in the Oklahoma County jail.
Subsequent events indicate that it is probable that He was
poisoned with the heavy metal thallium while in that jail and the
El Reno Federal Penitentiary.
Emotions and publicity swell around
Osho’s immigration case. Fearing for His life and the well-being
of sannyasins in volatile Oregon, attorneys agree to an Alford
Plea on two out of 35 of the original charges against Him.
According to the rules of the plea, the defendant maintains
innocence while saying that the prosecution could have convicted
him. Osho and His attorneys maintain His innocence in the court.
He is fined $400,000 and is deported from America.
Among others, U.S. Attorney in Portland, Charles Turner, publicly
concedes that the government was intent on destroying
1985 - 1986
He travels to Kathmandu, Nepal and speaks twice daily for the next
two months. In February, the Nepalese government refuses visas for
His visitors and closest attendants. He leaves Nepal and embarks
on a world tour.
At His first stop, Greece, he is granted a 30-day tourist visa.
But after only 18 days, on March 5, Greek police forcibly break
into the house where He is staying, arrest Him at gun point, and
deport him. Greek media reports indicate government and church
pressure provoked the police intervention.
the following two weeks He visits or asks permission to visit 17
countries in Europe and the Americas. All of these countries
either refuse to grant Him a visitor’s visa or revoke His visa
upon His arrival, and force Him to leave. Some refuse even landing
permission for His plane.
On March 19 He travels to Uruguay. On May 14th the government has
scheduled a press conference to announce that He will be granted
permanent residence in Uruguay. Uruguay’s President Sanguinetti
later admits that he received a telephone call from Washington,
D.C. the night before the press conference. He is told that if
Osho is allowed to stay in Uruguay, the six billion dollar debt
Uruguay owes to the U.S. will be due immediately and no further
loans will be granted. Osho is ordered to leave Uruguay on June
During the next month He is deported from both Jamaica and
Portugal. In all, 21 countries had denied Him entry or deported
Him after arrival. On July 29,1986, He returns to Mumbai, India.
1987 - 1989 Osho
1987: He returns to the ashram in Pune, India, which is renamed
1988: Osho begins, for the first time in 14 years, to personally
lead the meditation at the end of each evening’s discourse. He
also introduces a revolutionary new meditation technique called
The Mystic Rose.
1989: He stops using the name "Bhagwan," retaining only
the name Rajneesh. However, His disciples ask to call Him
‘Osho’ and He accepts this form of address. Osho explains that
His name is derived from William James’ word ‘oceanic’ which
means dissolving into the ocean. Oceanic describes the experience,
He says, but what about the experiencer? For that we use the word
‘Osho.’ At the same time, He came to find out that ‘Osho’
has also been used historically in the Far East, meaning "The
Blessed One, on Whom the Sky Showers Flowers."
1989: Osho is resting to recover from the effects of the
poisoning, which by now are strongly influencing His health.
1989: His health is getting better and He makes two appearances
for silent darshans during the Festival, now renamed Osho Full
1989: Osho begins to make daily appearances in Gautama the Buddha
Auditorium for evening darshan. He inaugurates a special group of
white-robed sannyasins called the "Osho White Robe
Brotherhood." All sannyasins and non-sannyasins attending the
evening darshans are asked to wear white robes.
1989: Osho drops the name "Rajneesh," signifying His
complete discontinuity from the past. He is known simply as "Osho,"
and the ashram is renamed "Osho Commune International."
Osho leaves His body
During the second week in January, Osho’s body becomes
noticeably weaker. On January 18, He is so physically weak that He
is unable to come to Gautama the Buddha Auditorium. On January 19,
His pulse becomes irregular. When His doctor inquires whether they
should prepare for cardiac resuscitation, Osho says, "No,
just let me go. Existence decides its timing." He leaves His
body at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. His body is brought to Gautama the Buddha
Auditorium for a celebration, and is then carried to the burning
ghats for cremation. Two days later, His ashes are brought to Osho
Commune International and placed in His samadhi in Chuang Tzu
Auditorium with the inscription:
Only Visited This Planet Earth Between
11 December 1931 - 19 January 1990