Question and Talk sessions.
‘Chandra Mohan Jain’ appeared in India in 1931 and departed in 1990. During his life he was more commonly known as ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’ or ‘Osho’.
In his school years he was a rebellious but gifted student, and acquired a reputation as a formidable debater. In 1951, aged nineteen, Osho began his studies at Hitkarini College in Jabalpur. Asked to leave after conflicts with an instructor, he transferred to D. N. Jain College, also in Jabalpur. Having proved himself to be disruptively argumentative, he was not required to attend college classes in D. N. Jain College except for examinations and used his free time to work for a few months as an assistant editor at a local newspaper. Having completed his B.A. in philosophy at D. N. Jain College in 1955, he joined the University of Sagar, where in 1957 he earned his M.A. in philosophy (with distinction). He immediately secured a teaching post at Raipur Sanskrit college, but the Vice Chancellor soon asked him to seek a transfer as he considered him a danger to his students’ morality, character and religion. From 1958 he taught philosophy as a lecturer at Jabalpur University, being promoted to professor in 1960.
In parallel to his university job, he travelled throughout India under the name Acharya Rajneesh (Acharya means teacher or professor; Rajneesh was a nickname he had acquired in childhood), giving lectures and talks. He criticised orthodox Indian religions as dead, filled with empty ritual, oppressing their followers with fears of damnation and the promise of blessings. Such statements made him controversial, but also gained him a loyal following that included a number of wealthy merchants and businessmen.
In 1974, he moved to a property in Koregaon Park, Pune, where he purchased a property with the help of Catherine Venizelos, a Greek shipping heiress. Osho taught at the Pune ashram from 1974 to 1981.
The Pune ashram was by all accounts an exciting and intense place to be, with an emotionally charged, madhouse-carnival atmosphere. The day began at 6:00 a.m. with Dynamic Meditation. From 8:00 a.m. Osho gave a 60-90 minute spontaneous lecture in the ashram’s “Buddha Hall” auditorium, commenting on religious writings or answering questions from visitors and disciples. During the day, various meditations and therapies took place, whose intensity was ascribed to the spiritual energy of Osho’s “buddhafield”. In evening darshans Osho conversed with individual disciples or visitors. Many observers noted that Osho’s lecture style changed in the late seventies, becoming less focused intellectually and featuring an increasing number of ethnic or dirty jokes intended to shock or amuse his audience.
By 1981 Osho’s ashram hosted 30,000 visitors per year. During that same year, problems at the Pune ashram, along with criticism of its activities and threatened punitive action by the Indian authorities, provided an impetus for the ashram to relocate to America. On 1 June Osho travelled to the United States on a tourist visa, ostensibly for medical purposes, and spent several months at Kip’s Castle in Montclair, New Jersey. He had been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc in spring 1981 and treated by several doctors. During this time, people close to him purchased a ranch in Oregon, US and set up another commune. Within a year, a series of legal battles ensued, principally over land use. In May 1982 the residents of Rancho Rajneesh voted to incorporate it as the city of Rajneeshpuram. Conflict with local residents became increasingly bitter and, over the following years, the commune was subject to constant, coordinated pressure from various coalitions. Like others that adopted a ‘guru’ culture around their teachings, controversy followed him involving large sums of money, limos, a suspended sentence and deportation from the US.
However, like other ‘gurus’ of his generation, he too gave some very insightful and philosophically educational talks which could still prove helpful to others and so a selective range of his videos have still been included on this site.
“The ego can exist only if you take yourself and everything seriously. Nothing kills the ego like playfulness, like laughter. When you start taking life as fun, the ego has to die, it cannot exist anymore. Ego is illness; it needs an atmosphere of sadness to exist.”
“To me, love is a by-product of a meditative mind. It is not related to sex; it is related to dhyana, meditation. The more silent you become, the more at ease with yourself you will be, the more fulfilled you will feel, and the more a new expression of your being will be there. You will begin to love.”
“Look, and always try to find the unity. In unity is religion, in disunity religion is lost. And avoid being against. If you are against, you will become rigid, hard, and the harder you become the more dead you will be.”
Waking up to who you are
God is not a solution – but a problem
Happy people don’t start wars
The following subjects link to the appropriate video or article which may also include commentary, polls, questions and related information.