Acharya Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh (Osho)
Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh was the charismatic leader of the spiritual movement which was dynamic meditation.
He preached various spiritual concepts and preached the ideas of Eastern mysticism, individual devotion, and sexual freedom.
In this post let us take a look at how did this rebellious young boy found the spiritual path and become a one-of-a-kind spiritual leader.
Early life of Osho
Known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was born in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh on December 11, 1931.
He was a well-performing child at school but was a lot of trouble to the teachers as he was a rebel.
He often skipped classes and spurred other students to play all sorts of pranks.
In his teenage, he was an atheist and became interested in hypnotism.
He also got himself involved in communism, socialism, and nationalist movements: Indian National Army and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
It was when he was 189 years old; he started taking philosophy classes at Hitkarini College in Jabalpur.
He dropped the classes later due to a violent quarrel with his teacher and shifted to D. N. Jain College.
At 21 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree and in 1957 earned a master’s degree in philosophy.
It was during his UG studies, he attained Samadhi or enlightenment.
He joined Raipur Sanskrit College as a lecturer followed by working as a professor at the University of Jabalpur in 1960.
After nine years of the teaching profession, he left college in 1966 and became a spiritual Guru and mediation teacher.
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Life after realization
His preaching advised students to live to the fullest in the world without any attachment.
His teachings attracted disciples from different parts of the country.
He traveled the country inviting challenges from religious leaders for a public debate and giving talks.
He was popularly known as Acharya Rajneesh. His early teachings were in Hindi and attracted any western disciples.
In the year 1974, he settled with his disciples in Pune and founded an ashram in vast six acres.
His basic teachings in the ashram were called Dynamic meditation As his preaching were questioned various religious principles, he got involved in tons of controversies.
In 1980, he was tried to assassinate by a Hindu fundamentalist. Later, he moved to America for better treatment as his health was failing.
In Antelope, Oregon his disciples wanted to build a large ashram.
His desire to establish an ashram led to friction with local people. The clash between cultures was recorded during that time.
He then tried to get elected as a part of the council. His journey in America was accompanied by a lot of controversies.
He and his disciples were alleged of spreading salmonella in a local restaurant.
The extremes were murder allegations against some followers of Osho.
In 1985 Osho was admitted guilty of an immigration offense and was expelled from the country.
He adopted the Buddhist Name Osho in 1989. The word Osho meant master in Japanese.
Osho died in the year 1990 due to heart failure.
There were doubts that some of his followers poisoned him but there was no evidence to support it.
Even after his death, his disciples worked to spread his principles. There were more than 750 Osho centers in more than 60 countries by the early 2000s. More than 650 books were published combining Osho’s speech.
Philosophies and beliefs
Osho, though he didn’t believe in any religion, he combined principles from various religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity.
He also included new yogic practices in the teachings. He believed that God was in everything.
All human beings are a form of divine power. He said that enlightenment is when one attains a state where there is no past, no future, no attachment, no mind, no ego, and no self.
The main teaching that made him different from other gurus was that he believed that sex was not an obstacle in spiritual attainment.
This practice ruffled the feathers of Indian Gurus in the country.
Osho had immense love for cars and people say that he has more than 20 Rolls Royce in his car collection.
More than 50,000 westerners approached Osho to find the path of enlightenment.
Before the 1980s an estimated number of 200,000 members came to his ashram to find the divine self.
However, the numbers dropped after the scandals he faced. The Osho foundation is administered by 21 followers he appointed for the duty.
His teachings were in accordance with modern circumstances. His way to spirituality didn’t force people to let go of worldly pleasures. This made him popular worldwide.