Chandra Mohan Jain
11 December 1931
|Died||19 January 1990 (aged 58)|
Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Education||MA in philosophy|
|Known for||Spirituality, mysticism|
|Memorial(s)||Osho International Meditation resort, Pune|
Rajneesh (born Chandra Mohan Jain, 11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990), also known as Acharya Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh, Bhagwan Rajneesh, Osho Rajneesh and later as Osho (//), was an Indian godman, mystic, and founder of the Rajneesh movement.
During his lifetime, he was viewed as a controversial new religious movement leader and mystic. In the 1960s, he travelled throughout India as a public speaker and was a vocal critic of socialism, arguing that India was not ready for socialism, and that socialism, communism, and anarchism could evolve only when capitalism had reached its maturity. Rajneesh also criticised Mahatma Gandhi and the orthodoxy of mainstream religions. Rajneesh emphasised the importance of meditation, mindfulness, love, celebration, courage, creativity, and humour—qualities that he viewed as being suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition, and socialisation. In advocating a more open attitude to human sexuality he caused controversy in India during the late 1960s and became known as "the sex guru".
In 1970, Rajneesh spent time in Mumbai initiating followers known as "neo-sannyasins". During this period he expanded his spiritual teachings and commented extensively in discourses on the writings of religious traditions, mystics, bhakti poets, and philosophers from around the world. In 1974, Rajneesh relocated to Pune, where an ashram was established and a variety of therapies, incorporating methods first developed by the Human Potential Movement, were offered to a growing Western following. By the late 1970s, the tension between the ruling Janata Party government of Morarji Desai and the movement led to a curbing of the ashram's development and a back tax claim estimated at $5 million.
In 1981, the Rajneesh movement's efforts refocused on activities in the United States and Rajneesh relocated to a facility known as Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. Almost immediately the movement ran into conflict with county residents and the state government, and a succession of legal battles concerning the ashram's construction and continued development curtailed its success. In 1985, in the wake of a series of serious crimes by his followers, including a mass food poisoning attack with salmonella bacteria and an aborted assassination plot to murder U.S. Attorney Charles H. Turner, Rajneesh alleged that his personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela and her close supporters had been responsible. He was later deported from the United States in accordance with an Alford plea bargain.
After his deportation, 21 countries denied him entry. He ultimately returned to India and revived the Pune ashram, where he died in 1990. Rajneesh's ashram, now known as OSHO International Meditation Resort, and all associated intellectual property, is managed by the registered Osho International Foundation (formerly Rajneesh International Foundation). Rajneesh's teachings have had an impact on Western New Age thought, and their popularity has reportedly increased since his death.
Childhood and adolescence: 1931–1950
Rajneesh (a childhood nickname from Sanskrit रजनी rajanee, night and ईश isha, lord meaning the "God of Night" or "The Moon" चंद्रमा) was born Chandra Mohan Jain, the eldest of 11 children of a cloth merchant, at his maternal grandparents' house in Kuchwada; a small village in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh state in India. His parents, Babulal and Saraswati Jain, who were Taranpanthi Jains, let him live with his maternal grandparents until he was eight years old. By Rajneesh's own account, this was a major influence on his development because his grandmother gave him the utmost freedom, leaving him carefree without an imposed education or restrictions. When he was seven years old, his grandfather died, and he went to Gadarwara to live with his parents. Rajneesh was profoundly affected by his grandfather's death, and again by the death of his childhood girlfriend and cousin Shashi from typhoid when he was 15, leading to a preoccupation with death that lasted throughout much of his childhood and youth. In his school years, he was a gifted and rebellious student, and gained a reputation as a formidable debater. Rajneesh became critical of traditional religion, took an interest in many methods to expand consciousness, including breath control, yogic exercises, meditation, fasting, the occult, and hypnosis. He became briefly associated with socialism and two Indian nationalist organisations: the Indian National Army and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. However, his membership in the organisations was short-lived as he could not submit to any external discipline, ideology, or system.
University years and public speaker: 1951–1970
In 1951, aged 19, Rajneesh 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 at 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. He began speaking in public at the annual Sarva Dharma Sammelan (Meeting of all faiths) held at Jabalpur, organised by the Taranpanthi Jain community into which he was born, and participated there from 1951 to 1968. He resisted his parents' pressure to marry. Rajneesh later said he became spiritually enlightened on 21 March 1953, when he was 21 years old, in a mystical experience while sitting under a tree in the Bhanvartal garden in Jabalpur.
Having completed his BA in philosophy at D. N. Jain College in 1955, he joined the University of Sagar, where in 1957 he earned his MA in philosophy (with distinction). He immediately secured a teaching position 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. A popular lecturer, he was acknowledged by his peers as an exceptionally intelligent man who had been able to overcome the deficiencies of his early small-town education.
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 critical of socialism, Gandhi, and institutional religions. He said that socialism would socialise only poverty, and he described Gandhi as a masochist reactionary who worshipped poverty. What India needed to escape its backwardness was capitalism, science, modern technology, and birth control. He criticised orthodox Indian religions as dead, filled with empty ritual, oppressing their followers with fears of damnation and promises of blessings. Such statements made him controversial, but also gained him a loyal following that included a number of wealthy merchants and businessmen. These sought individual consultations from him about their spiritual development and daily life, in return for donations and his practice snowballed. From 1962, he began to lead 3- to 10-day meditation camps, and the first meditation centres (Jivan Jagruti Kendra) started to emerge around his teaching, then known as the Life Awakening Movement (Jivan Jagruti Andolan). After a controversial speaking tour in 1966, he resigned from his teaching post at the request of the university.
In a 1968 lecture series, later published under the title From Sex to Superconsciousness, he scandalised Hindu leaders by calling for freer acceptance of sex and became known as the "sex guru" in the Indian press. When in 1969 he was invited to speak at the Second World Hindu Conference, despite the misgivings of some Hindu leaders, his statements raised controversy again when he said, "Any religion which considers life meaningless and full of misery and teaches the hatred of life, is not a true religion. Religion is an art that shows how to enjoy life." He compared the treatment of lower caste shudras and women with the treatment of animals. He characterised brahmin as being motivated by self-interest, provoking the Shankaracharya of Puri, who tried in vain to have his lecture stopped.
At a public meditation event in early 1970, Rajneesh presented his Dynamic Meditation method for the first time. Dynamic Meditation involved breathing very fast and celebrating with music and dance. He left Jabalpur for Mumbai at the end of June. On 26 September 1970, he initiated his first group of disciples or neo-sannyasins. Becoming a disciple meant assuming a new name and wearing the traditional orange dress of ascetic Hindu holy men, including a mala (beaded necklace) carrying a locket with his picture. However, his sannyasins were encouraged to follow a celebratory rather than ascetic lifestyle. He himself was not to be worshipped but regarded as a catalytic agent, "a sun encouraging the flower to open".
He had by then acquired a secretary, Laxmi Thakarsi Kuruwa, who as his first disciple had taken the name Ma Yoga Laxmi. Laxmi was the daughter of one of his early followers, a wealthy Jain who had been a key supporter of the Indian National Congress during the struggle for Indian independence, with close ties to Gandhi, Nehru, and Morarji Desai. She raised the money that enabled Rajneesh to stop his travels and settle down. In December 1970, he moved to the Woodlands Apartments in Mumbai, where he gave lectures and received visitors, among them his first Western visitors. He now traveled rarely, no longer speaking at open public meetings. In 1971, he adopted the title "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh". Shree is a polite form of address roughly equivalent to the English "Sir"; Bhagwan means "blessed one", used in Indian traditions as a term of respect for a human being in whom the divine is no longer hidden but apparent. Later, when he changed his name, he would redefine the meaning of Bhagwan.
Pune ashram: 1974–1981
The humid climate of Mumbai proved detrimental to Rajneesh's health: he developed diabetes, asthma, and numerous allergies. In 1974, on the 21st anniversary of his experience in Jabalpur, he moved to a property in Koregaon Park, Pune, purchased with the help of Ma Yoga Mukta (Catherine Venizelos), a Greek shipping heiress. Rajneesh spoke at the Pune ashram from 1974 to 1981. The two adjoining houses and 6 acres (2.4 ha) of land became the nucleus of an ashram, and the property is still the heart of the present-day OSHO International Meditation Resort. It allowed the regular audio recording and, later, video recording and printing of his discourses for worldwide distribution, enabling him to reach far larger audiences. The number of Western visitors increased sharply. The ashram soon featured an arts-and-crafts centre producing clothes, jewellery, ceramics, and organic cosmetics and hosted performances of theatre, music, and mime. From 1975, after the arrival of several therapists from the Human Potential Movement, the ashram began to complement meditations with a growing number of therapy groups, which became a major source of income for the ashram.
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 am, Rajneesh gave a 60- to 90-minute spontaneous lecture in the ashram's "Buddha Hall" auditorium, commenting on religious writings or answering questions from visitors and disciples. Until 1981, lecture series held in Hindi alternated with series held in English. During the day, various meditations and therapies took place, whose intensity was ascribed to the spiritual energy of Rajneesh's "buddhafield". In evening darshans, Rajneesh conversed with individual disciples or visitors and initiated disciples ("gave sannyas"). Sannyasins came for darshan when departing or returning or when they had anything they wanted to discuss.
To decide which therapies to participate in, visitors either consulted Rajneesh or selected according to their own preferences. Some of the early therapy groups in the ashram, such as the encounter group, were experimental, allowing a degree of physical aggression as well as sexual encounters between participants. Conflicting reports of injuries sustained in Encounter group sessions began to appear in the press. Richard Price, at the time a prominent Human Potential Movement therapist and co-founder of the Esalen Institute, found the groups encouraged participants to 'be violent' rather than 'play at being violent' (the norm in Encounter groups conducted in the United States), and criticised them for "the worst mistakes of some inexperienced Esalen group leaders". Price is alleged to have exited the Pune ashram with a broken arm following a period of eight hours locked in a room with participants armed with wooden weapons. Bernard Gunther, his Esalen colleague, fared better in Pune and wrote a book, Dying for Enlightenment, featuring photographs and lyrical descriptions of the meditations and therapy groups. Violence in the therapy groups eventually ended in January 1979, when the ashram issued a press release stating that violence "had fulfilled its function within the overall context of the ashram as an evolving spiritual commune".
Sannyasins who had "graduated" from months of meditation and therapy could apply to work in the ashram, in an environment that was consciously modelled on the community the Russian mystic Gurdjieff led in France in the 1930s. Key features incorporated from Gurdjieff were hard, unpaid labour, and supervisors chosen for their abrasive personality, both designed to provoke opportunities for self-observation and transcendence. Many disciples chose to stay for years. Besides the controversy around the therapies, allegations of drug use amongst sannyasin began to mar the ashram's image. Some Western sannyasins were alleged to be financing extended stays in India through prostitution and drug-running. A few people later alleged that while Rajneesh was not directly involved, they discussed such plans and activities with him in darshan and he gave his blessing.
By the latter 1970s, the Pune ashram was too small to contain the rapid growth and Rajneesh asked that somewhere larger be found. Sannyasins from around India started looking for properties: those found included one in the province of Kutch in Gujarat and two more in India's mountainous north. The plans were never implemented as mounting tensions between the ashram and the Janata Party government of Morarji Desai resulted in an impasse. Land-use approval was denied and, more importantly, the government stopped issuing visas to foreign visitors who indicated the ashram as their main destination. Besides, Desai's government cancelled the tax-exempt status of the ashram with retrospective effect, resulting in a claim estimated at $5 million. Conflicts with various Indian religious leaders aggravated the situation—by 1980 the ashram had become so controversial that Indira Gandhi, despite a previous association between Rajneesh and the Indian Congress Party dating back to the sixties, was unwilling to intercede for it after her return to power. In May 1980, during one of Rajneesh's discourses, an attempt on his life was made by Vilas Tupe, a young Hindu fundamentalist. Tupe claims that he undertook the attack because he believed Rajneesh to be an agent of the CIA.
By 1981, Rajneesh's ashram hosted 30,000 visitors per year. Daily discourse audiences were by then predominantly European and American. Many observers noted that Rajneesh's lecture style changed in the late 70s, becoming less focused intellectually and featuring an increasing number of ethnic or dirty jokes intended to shock or amuse his audience. On 10 April 1981, having discoursed daily for nearly 15 years, Rajneesh entered a three-and-a-half-year period of self-imposed public silence, and satsangs—silent sitting with music and readings from spiritual works such as Khalil Gibran's The Prophet or the Isha Upanishad—replaced discourses. Around the same time, Ma Anand Sheela (Sheela Silverman) replaced Ma Yoga Laxmi as Rajneesh's secretary.
United States and the Oregon commune: 1981–1985
Arrival in the United States
In 1981, the increased tensions around the Pune ashram, along with criticism of its activities and threatened punitive action by Indian authorities, provided an impetus for the ashram to consider the establishment of a new commune in the United States. According to Susan J. Palmer, the move to the United States was a plan from Sheela. Gordon (1987) notes that Sheela and Rajneesh had discussed the idea of establishing a new commune in the US in late 1980, although he did not agree to travel there until May 1981. On 1 June that year he travelled to the United States on a tourist visa, ostensibly for medical purposes, and spent several months at a Rajneeshee retreat centre located at Kip's Castle in Montclair, New Jersey. He had been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc in early 1981 and treated by several doctors, including James Cyriax, a St. Thomas' Hospital musculoskeletal physician and expert in epidural injections flown in from London. Rajneesh's previous secretary, Laxmi, reported to Frances FitzGerald that "she had failed to find a property in India adequate to Rajneesh's needs, and thus, when the medical emergency came, the initiative had passed to Sheela". A public statement by Sheela indicated that Rajneesh was in grave danger if he remained in India, but would receive appropriate medical treatment in America if he needed surgery. Despite the stated serious nature of the situation Rajneesh never sought outside medical treatment during his time in the United States, leading the Immigration and Naturalization Service to contend that he had a preconceived intent to remain there. Years later, Rajneesh pleaded guilty to immigration fraud, while maintaining his innocence of the charges that he made false statements on his initial visa application about his alleged intention to remain in the US when he came from India.[nb 1][nb 2][nb 3]
On 13 June 1981, Sheela's husband, John Shelfer, signed a purchase contract to buy property in Oregon for US$5.75 million, and a few days later assigned the property to the US foundation. The property was a 64,229-acre (260 km2) ranch, previously known as "The Big Muddy Ranch" and located across two counties (Wasco and Jefferson). It was renamed "Rancho Rajneesh" and Rajneesh moved there on 29 August. Initial local community reactions ranged from hostility to tolerance, depending on distance from the ranch. The press reported, and another study found, that the development met almost immediately with intense local, state, and federal opposition from the government, press, and citizenry. Within months a series of legal battles ensued, principally over land use. Within a year of arriving, Rajneesh and his followers had become embroiled in a series of legal battles with their neighbours, the principal conflict relating to land use. The commune leadership was uncompromising and behaved impatiently in dealing with the locals. They were also insistent upon having demands met, and engaged in implicitly threatening and directly confrontational behaviour. Whatever the true intention, the repeated changes in their stated plans looked to many like conscious deception.
In May 1982 the residents of Rancho Rajneesh voted to incorporate it as the city of Rajneeshpuram. The conflict with local residents escalated, with increasingly bitter hostility on both sides, and over the following years, the commune was subject to constant and coordinated pressures from various coalitions of Oregon residents. 1000 Friends of Oregon immediately commenced and then prosecuted over the next six years numerous court and administrative actions to void the incorporation and cause buildings and improvement to be removed. 1000 Friends publicly called for the city to be "dismantled". A 1000 Friends Attorney stated that if 1000 Friends won, the Foundation would be "forced to remove their sewer system and tear down many of the buildings. At one point, the commune imported large numbers of homeless people from various US cities in a failed attempt to affect the outcome of an election, before releasing them into surrounding towns and leaving some to the State of Oregon to return to their home cities at the state's expense. In March 1982, local residents formed a group called Citizens for Constitutional Cities to oppose the Ranch development. An initiative petition was filed that would order the governor "'to contain, control and remove' the threat of invasion by an 'alien cult'".
The Oregon legislature passed several bills that sought to slow or stop the development and the City of Rajneeshpuram—including HB 3080, which stopped distribution of revenue sharing funds for any city whose legal status had been challenged. Rajneeshpuram was the only city impacted. The Governor of Oregon, Vic Atiyeh, stated in 1982 that since their neighbors did not like them, they should leave Oregon. In May 1982, United States Senator Mark Hatfield called the INS in Portland. An INS memo stated that the Senator was "very concerned" about how this "religious cult" is "endangering the way of life for a small agricultural town ... and is a threat to public safety". Such actions "often do have influence on immigration decisions". In 1983 the Oregon Attorney General filed a lawsuit seeking to declare the City void because of an alleged violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution. The Court found that the City property was owned and controlled by the Foundation, and entered judgement for the State. The court disregarded the controlling US constitutional cases requiring that a violation be redressed by the "least intrusive means" necessary to correct the violation, which it had earlier cited. The city was forced to "acquiesce" in the decision, as part of a settlement of Rajneesh's immigration case.
While the various legal battles ensued Rajneesh remained behind the scenes, having withdrawn from a public facing role in what commune leadership referred to as a period of "silence." During this time, which lasted until November 1984, in lieu of Rajneesh speaking publicly, videos of his discourses were played to commune audiences. His time was allegedly spent mostly in seclusion and he communicated only with a few key disciples, including Ma Anand Sheela and his caretaker girlfriend Ma Yoga Vivek (Christine Woolf). He lived in a trailer next to a covered swimming pool and other amenities. At this time he did not lecture and interacted with followers via a Rolls Royce 'drive-by' ceremony. He also gained public notoriety for amassing a large collection of Rolls-Royce cars, eventually numbering 93 vehicles. In 1981 he had given Sheela limited power of attorney, removing any remaining limits the following year. In 1983, Sheela announced that he would henceforth speak only with her. He later said that she kept him in ignorance. Many sannyasins expressed doubts about whether Sheela properly represented Rajneesh and many dissidents left Rajneeshpuram in protest of its autocratic leadership. Resident sannyasins without US citizenship experienced visa difficulties that some tried to overcome by marriages of convenience. Commune administrators tried to resolve Rajneesh's own difficulty in this respect by declaring him the head of a religion, "Rajneeshism".
During the Oregon years there was an increased emphasis on Rajneesh's prediction that the world might be destroyed by nuclear war or other disasters in the 1990s. Rajneesh had said as early as 1964 that "the third and last war is now on the way" and frequently spoke of the need to create a "new humanity" to avoid global suicide. This now became the basis for a new exclusivity, and a 1983 article in the Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, announcing that "Rajneeshism is creating a Noah's Ark of consciousness ... I say to you that except this there is no other way", increased the sense of urgency in building the Oregon commune. In March 1984, Sheela announced that Rajneesh had predicted the death of two-thirds of humanity from AIDS. Sannyasins were required to wear rubber gloves and condoms if they had sex, and to refrain from kissing, measures widely represented in the press as an extreme over-reaction since condoms were not usually recommended for AIDS prevention because AIDS was considered a homosexual disease at that stage. During his residence in Rajneeshpuram, Rajneesh also dictated three books under the influence of nitrous oxide administered to him by his private dentist: Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Notes of a Madman and Books I Have Loved. Sheela later stated that Rajneesh took sixty milligrams of valium each day and was addicted to nitrous oxide. Rajneesh denied these charges when questioned about them by journalists.
At the peak of the Rajneeshpuram era, Rajneesh, assisted by a sophisticated legal and business infrastructure, had created a corporate machine consisting of various front companies and subsidiaries. At this time, the three main identifiable entities within his organisation were: the Ranch Church, or Rajneesh International Foundation (RIF); the Rajneesh Investment Corporation (RIC), through which the RIF was managed; and the Rajneesh Neo-Sannyasin International Commune (RNSIC). The umbrella organisation that oversaw all investment activities was Rajneesh Services International Ltd., a company incorporated in the UK but based in Zürich. There were also smaller organisations, such as Rajneesh Travel Corp, Rajneesh Community Holdings, and the Rajneesh Modern Car Collection Trust, whose sole purpose was to deal with the acquisition and rental of Rolls Royces.
1984 bioterror attack
Rajneesh had coached Sheela in using media coverage to her advantage and during his period of public silence he privately stated that when Sheela spoke, she was speaking on his behalf. He had also supported her when disputes about her behaviour arose within the commune leadership, but in early 1984, as tension amongst the inner circle peaked, a private meeting was convened with Sheela and his personal house staff. According to the testimony of Rajneesh's dentist, Swami Devageet (Charles Harvey Newman), she was admonished during a meeting, with Rajneesh declaring that his house, and not hers, was the centre of the commune. Devageet claimed Rajneesh warned that Sheela's jealousy of anyone close to him would inevitably make them a target.
Several months later, on 30 October 1984, he ended his period of public silence, announcing that it was time to "speak his own truths". In July 1985 he resumed daily public discourses. On 16 September 1985, a few days after Sheela and her entire management team had suddenly left the commune for Europe, Rajneesh held a press conference in which he labelled Sheela and her associates a "gang of fascists". He accused them of having committed serious crimes, most dating back to 1984, and invited the authorities to investigate.
The alleged crimes, which he stated had been committed without his knowledge or consent, included the attempted murder of his personal physician, poisonings of public officials, wiretapping and bugging within the commune and within his own home, and a potentially lethal bioterror attack sickening 751 citizens of The Dalles, Oregon, using Salmonella to impact the county elections. While his allegations were initially greeted with scepticism by outside observers, the subsequent investigation by the US authorities confirmed these accusations and resulted in the conviction of Sheela and several of her lieutenants. On 30 September 1985, Rajneesh denied that he was a religious teacher. His disciples burned 5,000 copies the book Rajneeshism: An Introduction to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Religion a 78-page compilation of his teachings that defined "Rajneeshism" as "a religionless religion". He said he ordered the book-burning to rid the sect of the last traces of the influence of Sheela, whose robes were also "added to the bonfire".
The salmonella attack is considered the first confirmed instance of chemical or biological terrorism to have occurred in the United States. Rajneesh stated that because he was in silence and isolation, meeting only with Sheela, he was unaware of the crimes committed by the Rajneeshpuram leadership until Sheela and her "gang" left and sannyasins came forward to inform him. A number of commentators have stated that they believe that Sheela was being used as a convenient scapegoat. Others have pointed to the fact that although Sheela had bugged Rajneesh's living quarters and made her tapes available to the US authorities as part of her own plea bargain, no evidence has ever come to light that Rajneesh had any part in her crimes. Nevertheless, Gordon (1987) reports that Charles Turner, David Frohnmayer, and other law enforcement officials, who had surveyed affidavits never released publicly and who listened to hundreds of hours of tape recordings, insinuated to him that Rajneesh was guilty of more crimes than those for which he was eventually prosecuted. Frohnmayer asserted that Rajneesh's philosophy was not "disapproving of poisoning" and that he felt he and Sheela had been "genuinely evil". Nonetheless, US Attorney Turner and Attorney General Frohnmeyer acknowledged that "they had little evidence of (Rajneesh) being involved in any of the criminal activities that unfolded at the ranch". According to court testimony by Ma Ava (Ava Avalos), a prominent disciple, Sheela played associates a tape recording of a meeting she had with Rajneesh about the "need to kill people" to strengthen wavering sannyasins' resolve in participating in her murderous plots, but it was difficult to hear, so Sheela produced a transcript of the tape. "She came back to the meeting and ... began to play the tape. It was a little hard to hear what he was saying. ... But Param Bodhi, assisted her, went it transcribed it. And the gist of Bhagwan's response, yes, it was going to be necessary to kill people to stay in Oregon. And that actually killing people wasn't such a bad thing. And actually Hitler was a great man, although he could not say that publicly because nobody would understand that. Hitler had great vision."
Ava Avalos also said in her testimony to the FBI investigators that "Sheela informed them that Bhagwan was not to know what was going on, and that if Bhagwan were to ask them about anything that would occur, 'they would have to lie to Bhagwan'."
Sheela initiated attempts to murder Rajneesh's caretaker and girlfriend, Ma Yoga Vivek, and his personal physician, Swami Devaraj (George Meredith), because she thought that they were a threat to Rajneesh. She had secretly recorded a conversation between Devaraj and Rajneesh "in which the doctor agreed to obtain drugs the guru wanted to ensure a peaceful death if he decided to take his own life".
On 23 October 1985, a federal grand jury indicted Rajneesh and several other disciples with conspiracy to evade immigration laws. The indictment was returned in camera, but word was leaked to Rajneesh's lawyer. Negotiations to allow Rajneesh to surrender to authorities in Portland if a warrant were issued failed. Rumours of a National Guard takeover and a planned violent arrest of Rajneesh led to tension and fears of shooting. On the strength of Sheela's tape recordings, authorities later said they believed that there had been a plan that sannyasin women and children would have been asked to create a human shield if authorities tried to arrest Rajneesh at the commune. On 28 October 1985, Rajneesh and a small number of sannyasins accompanying him were arrested aboard a rented Learjet at a North Carolina airstrip; according to federal authorities the group was en route to Bermuda to avoid prosecution. $58,000 in cash, as well as 35 watches and bracelets worth a combined $1 million, were found on the aircraft. Rajneesh had by all accounts been informed neither of the impending arrest nor the reason for the journey. Officials took the full ten days legally available to transfer him from North Carolina to Portland for arraignment. After initially pleading "not guilty" to all charges and being released on bail, Rajneesh, on the advice of his lawyers, entered an "Alford plea"—a type of guilty plea through which a suspect does not admit guilt, but does concede there is enough evidence to convict him—to one count of having a concealed intent to remain permanently in the US at the time of his original visa application in 1981 and one count of having conspired to have sannyasins enter into a sham marriage to acquire US residency. Under the deal his lawyers made with the US Attorney's office he was given a ten-year suspended sentence, five years' probation, and a $400,000 penalty in fines and prosecution costs and agreed to leave the United States, not returning for at least five years without the permission of the United States Attorney General.
As to "preconceived intent", at the time of the investigation and prosecution, federal court appellate cases and the INS regulations permitted "dual intent", a desire to stay, but a willingness to comply with the law if denied permanent residence. Further, the relevant intent is that of the employer, not the employee. Given the public nature of Rajneesh's arrival and stay, and the aggressive scrutiny by the INS, Rajneesh would appear to have had to be willing to leave the US if denied benefits. The government nonetheless prosecuted him based on preconceived intent. As to arranging a marriage, the government only claimed that Rajneesh told someone who lived in his house that they should marry to stay. Such encouragement appears to constitute incitement, a crime in the US, but not a conspiracy, which requires the formation of a plan and acts in furtherance.
Travels and return to Pune: 1985–1990
Following his exit from the US, Rajneesh returned to India, landing in Delhi on 17 November 1985. He was given a hero's welcome by his Indian disciples and denounced the United States, saying the world must "put the monster America in its place" and that "Either America must be hushed up or America will be the end of the world." He then stayed for six weeks in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. When non-Indians in his party had their visas revoked, he moved on to Kathmandu, Nepal, and then, a few weeks later, to Crete. Arrested after a few days by the Greek National Intelligence Service (KYP), he flew to Geneva, then to Stockholm and London, but was in each case refused entry. Next Canada refused landing permission, so his plane returned to Shannon airport, Ireland, to refuel. There he was allowed to stay for two weeks at a hotel in Limerick, on condition that he did not go out or give talks. He had been granted a Uruguayan identity card, one-year provisional residency and a possibility of permanent residency, so the party set out, stopping at Madrid, where the plane was surrounded by the Guardia Civil. He was allowed to spend one night at Dakar, then continued to Recife and Montevideo. In Uruguay, the group moved to a house at Punta del Este where Rajneesh began speaking publicly until 19 June, after which he was "invited to leave" for no official reason. A two-week visa was arranged for Jamaica, but on arrival in Kingston police gave the group 12 hours to leave. Refuelling in Gander and in Madrid, Rajneesh returned to Bombay, India, on 30 July 1986.
In January 1987, Rajneesh returned to the ashram in Pune where he held evening discourses each day, except when interrupted by intermittent ill health. Publishing and therapy resumed and the ashram underwent expansion, now as a "Multiversity" where therapy was to function as a bridge to meditation. Rajneesh devised new "meditation therapy" methods such as the "Mystic Rose" and began to lead meditations in his discourses after a gap of more than ten years. His western disciples formed no large communes, mostly preferring ordinary independent living. Red/orange dress and the mala were largely abandoned, having been optional since 1985. The wearing of maroon robes—only while on ashram premises—was reintroduced in the summer of 1989, along with white robes worn for evening meditation and black robes for group leaders.
In November 1987, Rajneesh expressed his belief that his deteriorating health (nausea, fatigue, pain in extremities, and lack of resistance to infection) was due to poisoning by the US authorities while in prison. His doctors and former attorney, Philip Toelkes (Swami Prem Niren), hypothesised radiation and thallium in a deliberately irradiated mattress, since his symptoms were concentrated on the right side of his body, but presented no hard evidence. US attorney Charles H. Hunter described this as "complete fiction", while others suggested exposure to HIV or chronic diabetes and stress.
From early 1988, Rajneesh's discourses focused exclusively on Zen. In late December, he said he no longer wished to be referred to as "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh", and in February 1989 took the name "Osho Rajneesh", shortened to "Osho" in September. He also requested that all trademarks previously branded with "Rajneesh" be rebranded "OSHO". His health continued to weaken. He delivered his last public discourse in April 1989, from then on simply sitting in silence with his followers. Shortly before his death, Rajneesh suggested that one or more audience members at evening meetings (now referred to as the White Robe Brotherhood) were subjecting him to some form of evil magic. A search for the perpetrators was undertaken, but none could be found.
Rajneesh died on 19 January 1990, aged 58, at the ashram in Pune, India. The official cause of death was heart failure, but a statement released by his commune said that he died because "living in the body had become a hell" after an alleged poisoning in US jails. His ashes were placed in his newly built bedroom in Lao Tzu House at the ashram in Pune. The epitaph reads, "Never Born – Never Died Only visited this planet Earth between December 11, 1931 and January 19, 1990".
Rajneesh's death still remains a mystery and an article in 'The Quint' in January 2019 asks some leading questions such as "was Osho murdered for money? Is his will fake? Are foreigners looting India’s treasures?".
Rajneesh's teachings, delivered through his discourses, were not presented in an academic setting, but interspersed with jokes. The emphasis was not static but changed over time: Rajneesh revelled in paradox and contradiction, making his work difficult to summarise. He delighted in engaging in behaviour that seemed entirely at odds with traditional images of enlightened individuals; his early lectures in particular were famous for their humour and their refusal to take anything seriously. All such behaviour, however capricious and difficult to accept, was explained as "a technique for transformation" to push people "beyond the mind".
He spoke on major spiritual traditions including Jainism, Hinduism, Hassidism, Tantrism, Taoism, Sufism, Christianity, Buddhism, on a variety of Eastern and Western mystics and on sacred scriptures such as the Upanishads and the Guru Granth Sahib. The sociologist Lewis F. Carter saw his ideas as rooted in Hindu advaita, in which the human experiences of separateness, duality and temporality are held to be a kind of dance or play of cosmic consciousness in which everything is sacred, has absolute worth and is an end in itself. While his contemporary Jiddu Krishnamurti did not approve of Rajneesh, there are clear similarities between their respective teachings.
Rajneesh also drew on a wide range of Western ideas. His belief in the unity of opposites recalls Heraclitus, while his description of man as a machine, condemned to the helpless acting out of unconscious, neurotic patterns, has much in common with Sigmund Freud and George Gurdjieff. His vision of the "new man" transcending constraints of convention is reminiscent of Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil; his promotion of sexual liberation bears comparison to D. H. Lawrence; and his "dynamic" meditations owe a debt to Wilhelm Reich.
Ego and the mind
According to Rajneesh every human being is a Buddha with the capacity for enlightenment, capable of unconditional love and of responding rather than reacting to life, although the ego usually prevents this, identifying with social conditioning and creating false needs and conflicts and an illusory sense of identity that is nothing but a barrier of dreams. Otherwise man's innate being can flower in a move from the periphery to the centre.
Rajneesh viewed the mind first and foremost as a mechanism for survival, replicating behavioural strategies that have proven successful in the past. But the mind's appeal to the past, he said, deprives human beings of the ability to live authentically in the present, causing them to repress genuine emotions and to shut themselves off from joyful experiences that arise naturally when embracing the present moment: "The mind has no inherent capacity for joy. ... It only thinks about joy." The result is that people poison themselves with all manner of neuroses, jealousies, and insecurities. He argued that psychological repression, often advocated by religious leaders, makes suppressed feelings re-emerge in another guise, and that sexual repression resulted in societies obsessed with sex. Instead of suppressing, people should trust and accept themselves unconditionally. This should not merely be understood intellectually, as the mind could only assimilate it as one more piece of information: instead meditation was needed.
Rajneesh presented meditation not just as a practice but as a state of awareness to be maintained in every moment, a total awareness that awakens the individual from the sleep of mechanical responses conditioned by beliefs and expectations. He employed Western psychotherapy in the preparatory stages of meditation to create awareness of mental and emotional patterns.
He suggested more than a hundred meditation techniques in total. His own "active meditation" techniques are characterised by stages of physical activity leading to silence. The most famous of these remains Dynamic Meditation™, which has been described as a kind of microcosm of his outlook. Performed with closed or blindfolded eyes, it comprises five stages, four of which are accompanied by music. First the meditator engages in ten minutes of rapid breathing through the nose. The second ten minutes are for catharsis: "Let whatever is happening happen. ... Laugh, shout, scream, jump, shake—whatever you feel to do, do it!" Next, for ten minutes one jumps up and down with arms raised, shouting Hoo! each time one lands on the flat of the feet. At the fourth, silent stage, the meditator stops moving suddenly and totally, remaining completely motionless for fifteen minutes, witnessing everything that is happening. The last stage of the meditation consists of fifteen minutes of dancing and celebration.
Rajneesh developed other active meditation techniques, such as the Kundalini "shaking" meditation and the Nadabrahma "humming" meditation, which are less animated, although they also include physical activity of one sort or another. His later "meditative therapies" require sessions for several days, OSHO Mystic Rose comprising three hours of laughing every day for a week, three hours of weeping each day for a second week, and a third week with three hours of silent meditation. These processes of "witnessing" enable a "jump into awareness". Rajneesh believed such cathartic methods were necessary because it was difficult for modern people to just sit and enter meditation. Once these methods had provided a glimpse of meditation, then people would be able to use other methods without difficulty.
Another key ingredient was his own presence as a master: "A Master shares his being with you, not his philosophy. ... He never does anything to the disciple." The initiation he offered was another such device: "... if your being can communicate with me, it becomes a communion. ... It is the highest form of communication possible: a transmission without words. Our beings merge. This is possible only if you become a disciple." Ultimately though, as an explicitly "self-parodying" guru, Rajneesh even deconstructed his own authority, declaring his teaching to be nothing more than a "game" or a joke. He emphasised that anything and everything could become an opportunity for meditation.
Renunciation and the "New Man"
Rajneesh saw his "neo-sannyas" as a totally new form of spiritual discipline, or one that had once existed but since been forgotten. He thought that the traditional Hindu sannyas had turned into a mere system of social renunciation and imitation. He emphasised complete inner freedom and the responsibility to oneself, not demanding superficial behavioural changes, but a deeper, inner transformation. Desires were to be accepted and surpassed rather than denied. Once this inner flowering had taken place, desires such as that for sex would be left behind.
Rajneesh said that he was "the rich man's guru" and that material poverty was not a genuine spiritual value. He had himself photographed wearing sumptuous clothing and hand-made watches and, while in Oregon, drove a different Rolls-Royce each day – his followers reportedly wanted to buy him 365 of them, one for each day of the year. Publicity shots of the Rolls-Royces were sent to the press. They may have reflected both his advocacy of wealth and his desire to provoke American sensibilities, much as he had enjoyed offending Indian sensibilities earlier.
Rajneesh aimed to create a "new man" combining the spirituality of Gautama Buddha with the zest for life embodied by Nikos Kazantzakis' Zorba the Greek: "He should be as accurate and objective as a scientist ... as sensitive, as full of heart, as a poet ... [and as] rooted deep down in his being as the mystic." His term the "new man" applied to men and women equally, whose roles he saw as complementary; indeed, most of his movement's leadership positions were held by women. This new man, "Zorba the Buddha", should reject neither science nor spirituality but embrace both. Rajneesh believed humanity was threatened with extinction due to over-population, impending nuclear holocaust and diseases such as AIDS, and thought many of society's ills could be remedied by scientific means. The new man would no longer be trapped in institutions such as family, marriage, political ideologies and religions. In this respect Rajneesh is similar to other counter-culture gurus, and perhaps even certain postmodern and deconstructional thinkers. Rajneesh said that the new man had to be "utterly ambitionless", as opposed to a life that depended on ambition. The new man, he said, "is not necessarily the better man. He will be livelier. He will be more joyous. He will be more alert. But who knows whether he will be better or not? As far as politicians are concerned, he will not be better, because he will not be a better soldier. He will not be ready to be a soldier at all. He will not be competitive, and the whole competitive economy will collapse. "
Euthanasia and Eugenics
This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (April 2019)
Rajneesh spoke many times of the dangers of overpopulation, and advocated universal legalisation of contraception and abortion. He described the religious prohibitions thereof as criminal, and argued that the United Nations' declaration of the human "right to life" played into the hands of religious campaigners. According to Rajneesh, one has no right to knowingly inflict a lifetime of suffering: life should begin only at birth, and even then, "If a child is born deaf, dumb, and we cannot do anything, and the parents are willing, the child should be put to eternal sleep" rather than "take the risk of burdening the earth with a crippled, blind child."
He argued that this simply freed the soul to inhabit a healthy body instead: "Only the body goes back into its basic elements; the soul will fly into another womb. Nothing is destroyed. If you really love the child, you will not want him to live a seventy-year-long life in misery, suffering, sickness, old age. So even if a child is born, if he is not medically capable of enjoying life fully with all the senses, healthy, then it is better that he goes to eternal sleep and is born somewhere else with a better body."
He stated that the decision to have a child should be a medical matter, and that oversight of population and genetics must be kept in the realm of science, outside of politicians' control: "If genetics is in the hands of Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, what will be the fate of the world?" He believed that in the right hands, these measures could be used for good: "Once we know how to change the program, thousands of possibilities open up. We can give every man and woman the best of everything. There is no need for anyone to suffer unnecessarily. Being retarded, crippled, blind, ugly – all these will be possible to change."
"Science has been a dagger driven into the back of nature. Philosophers have not done much harm—they cannot because they are absolute failures—but science has done much harm. Now the greatest enemy today is science. And why it has been so harmful? – because from the very beginning enmity has been at the base. Hatred, not love...enmity with life, not friendship. Science has created the idea in humanity that they have been teaching survival of the fittest – as if life is just a struggle! The fact is otherwise, just the contrary. Life is a vast cooperation."
"So the first thing to be understood is: All ideals are perfectionist. Hence, ALL ideals are inhuman.
And all ideals cripple and paralyse you. All ideals create a kind of subtle bondage around you, they imprison you. The really free man has no ideals."
If you make it an ideal, it is inhuman AND impossible. And it will destroy you. All ideals are destructive, and all idealists are the poisoners of humanity. Beware of them!
Live a simple, ordinary life – a day to day existence. Feeling hungry, eat; feeling sleepy, sleep; feeling loving, love. Don't hanker for anything perfect. Perfection is impossible. And don't start creating a new ideal out of this simple fact."
The new man is the very ordinary man: Nothing special, nothing superior, supramental.
The new man is the first man who recognises that it is enough to be human. There is no need to be a superman. There is no need to become gods and goddesses, it is so fulfilling just to be an ordinary human being."
The new man will be simply man. And I repeat again: I don't accept anything higher than man. I am talking about the ordinary, simple man.
There is nothing higher than that."
Contradictions and "Heart to heart communion"
This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (April 2019)
Rajneesh claimed on 30 October 1984 in the first talk he gave after three years of public silence that he had gone into public silence partly to put off those who were only intellectually following him:
He remained in his talks consistent only on his spiritual fundamentals such as meditation, love, humour, non-seriousness, celebration, and enlightenment.[original research?] He was also consistent throughout his lifetime in teaching meditators to be wary of satori (temporary awakenings) and semi-permanent states which spiritual seekers often mistake for enlightenment.
Rajneesh's "Ten Commandments"
In his early days as Acharya Rajneesh, a correspondent once asked for his "Ten Commandments". In reply, Rajneesh said that it was a difficult matter because he was against any kind of commandment, but "just for fun", set out the following:
- Never obey anyone's command unless it is coming from within you also.
- There is no God other than life itself.
- Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.
- Love is prayer.
- To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.
- Life is now and here.
- Live wakefully.
- Do not swim—float.
- Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.
- Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.
While Rajneesh's teachings were not welcomed by many in his own home country during his lifetime, there has been a change in Indian public opinion since Rajneesh's death. In 1991, an Indian newspaper counted Rajneesh, along with figures such as Gautama Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, among the ten people who had most changed India's destiny; in Rajneesh's case, by "liberating the minds of future generations from the shackles of religiosity and conformism". Rajneesh has found more acclaim in his homeland since his death than he did while alive. Writing in The Indian Express, columnist Tanweer Alam stated, "The late Rajneesh was a fine interpreter of social absurdities that destroyed human happiness." At a celebration in 2006, marking the 75th anniversary of Rajneesh's birth, Indian singer Wasifuddin Dagar said that Rajneesh's teachings are "more pertinent in the current milieu than they were ever before". In Nepal, there were 60 Rajneesh centres with almost 45,000 initiated disciples as of January 2008. Rajneesh's entire works have been placed in the Library of India's National Parliament in New Delhi. The Bollywood actor, and former Minister of State for External Affairs, Vinod Khanna, worked as Rajneesh's gardener in Rajneeshpuram in the 1980s. Over 650 books are credited to Rajneesh, expressing his views on all facets of human existence. Virtually all of them are renderings of his taped discourses. Many Bollywood personalities like Parveen Babi were also known to be the followers of Rajneesh's philosophy. His books are available in more than 60 languages from more than 200 publishing houses and have entered best-seller lists in Italy and South Korea.
Rajneesh continues to be known and published worldwide in the area of meditation and his work also includes social and political commentary. Internationally, after almost two decades of controversy and a decade of accommodation, Rajneesh's movement has established itself in the market of new religions. His followers have redefined his contributions, reframing central elements of his teaching so as to make them appear less controversial to outsiders. Societies in North America and Western Europe have met them half-way, becoming more accommodating to spiritual topics such as yoga and meditation. The Osho International Foundation (OIF) runs stress management seminars for corporate clients such as IBM and BMW, with a reported (2000) revenue between $15 and $45 million annually in the US.
Rajneesh's ashram in Pune has become the OSHO International Meditation Resort  Describing itself as the Esalen of the East, it teaches a variety of spiritual techniques from a broad range of traditions and promotes itself as a spiritual oasis, a "sacred space" for discovering one's self and uniting the desires of body and mind in a beautiful resort environment. According to press reports, prominent visitors have included politicians and media personalities. In 2011, a national seminar on Rajneesh's teachings was inaugurated at the Department of Philosophy of the Mankunwarbai College for Women in Jabalpur. Funded by the Bhopal office of the University Grants Commission, the seminar focused on Rajneesh's "Zorba the Buddha" teaching, seeking to reconcile spirituality with the materialist and objective approach. As of 2013, the resort required all guests to be tested for HIV/AIDS at its Welcome Centre on arrival.
Rajneesh is generally considered one of the most controversial spiritual leaders to have emerged from India in the twentieth century. His message of sexual, emotional, spiritual, and institutional liberation, as well as the pleasure he took in causing offence, ensured that his life was surrounded by controversy. Rajneesh became known as the "sex guru" in India, and as the "Rolls-Royce guru" in the United States. He attacked traditional concepts of nationalism, openly expressed contempt for politicians, and poked fun at the leading figures of various religions, who in turn found his arrogance insufferable. His teachings on sex, marriage, family, and relationships contradicted traditional values and aroused a great deal of anger and opposition around the world. His movement was widely considered a cult. Rajneesh was seen to live "in ostentation and offensive opulence", while his followers, most of whom had severed ties with outside friends and family and donated all or most of their money and possessions to the commune, might be at a mere "subsistence level".
Appraisal by scholars of religion
Academic assessments of Rajneesh's work have been mixed and often directly contradictory. Uday Mehta saw errors in his interpretation of Zen and Mahayana Buddhism, speaking of "gross contradictions and inconsistencies in his teachings" that "exploit" the "ignorance and gullibility" of his listeners. The sociologist Bob Mullan wrote in 1983 of "a borrowing of truths, half-truths and occasional misrepresentations from the great traditions"... often bland, inaccurate, spurious and extremely contradictory". American religious studies professor Hugh B. Urban also said Rajneesh's teaching was neither original nor especially profound, and concluded that most of its content had been borrowed from various Eastern and Western philosophies. George Chryssides, on the other hand, found such descriptions of Rajneesh's teaching as a "potpourri" of various religious teachings unfortunate because Rajneesh was "no amateur philosopher". Drawing attention to Rajneesh's academic background he stated that; "Whether or not one accepts his teachings, he was no charlatan when it came to expounding the ideas of others." He described Rajneesh as primarily a Buddhist teacher, promoting an independent form of "Beat Zen" and viewed the unsystematic, contradictory and outrageous aspects of Rajneesh's teachings as seeking to induce a change in people, not as philosophy lectures aimed at intellectual understanding of the subject.
Similarly with respect to Rajneesh's embracing of Western counter-culture and the human potential movement, though Mullan acknowledged that Rajneesh's range and imagination were second to none, and that many of his statements were quite insightful and moving, perhaps even profound at times, he perceived "a potpourri of counter-culturalist and post-counter-culturalist ideas" focusing on love and freedom, the need to live for the moment, the importance of self, the feeling of "being okay", the mysteriousness of life, the fun ethic, the individual's responsibility for their own destiny, and the need to drop the ego, along with fear and guilt. Mehta notes that Rajneesh's appeal to his Western disciples was based on his social experiments, which established a philosophical connection between the Eastern guru tradition and the Western growth movement. He saw this as a marketing strategy to meet the desires of his audience. Urban, too, viewed Rajneesh as negating a dichotomy between spiritual and material desires, reflecting the preoccupation with the body and sexuality characteristic of late capitalist consumer culture and in tune with the socio-economic conditions of his time.
The British professor of religious studies Peter B. Clarke said that most participators felt they had made progress in self-actualisation as defined by American psychologist Abraham Maslow and the human potential movement. He stated that the style of therapy Rajneesh devised, with its liberal attitude towards sexuality as a sacred part of life, had proved influential among other therapy practitioners and new age groups. Yet Clarke believes that the main motivation of seekers joining the movement was "neither therapy nor sex, but the prospect of becoming enlightened, in the classical Buddhist sense".
In 2005, Urban observed that Rajneesh had undergone a "remarkable apotheosis" after his return to India, and especially in the years since his death, going on to describe him as a powerful illustration of what F. Max Müller, over a century ago, called "that world-wide circle through which, like an electric current, Oriental thought could run to the West and Western thought return to the East". Clarke also said that Rajneesh has come to be "seen as an important teacher within India itself" who is "increasingly recognised as a major spiritual teacher of the twentieth century, at the forefront of the current 'world-accepting' trend of spirituality based on self-development".
Appraisal as charismatic leader
A number of commentators have remarked upon Rajneesh's charisma. Comparing Rajneesh with Gurdjieff, Anthony Storr wrote that Rajneesh was "personally extremely impressive", noting that "many of those who visited him for the first time felt that their most intimate feelings were instantly understood, that they were accepted and unequivocally welcomed rather than judged. [Rajneesh] seemed to radiate energy and to awaken hidden possibilities in those who came into contact with him". Many sannyasins have stated that hearing Rajneesh speak, they "fell in love with him". Susan J. Palmer noted that even critics attested to the power of his presence. James S. Gordon, a psychiatrist and researcher, recalls inexplicably finding himself laughing like a child, hugging strangers and having tears of gratitude in his eyes after a glance by Rajneesh from within his passing Rolls-Royce. Frances FitzGerald concluded upon listening to Rajneesh in person that he was a brilliant lecturer, and expressed surprise at his talent as a comedian, which had not been apparent from reading his books, as well as the hypnotic quality of his talks, which had a profound effect on his audience. Hugh Milne (Swami Shivamurti), an ex-devotee who between 1973 and 1982 worked closely with Rajneesh as leader of the Poona Ashram Guard and as his personal bodyguard, noted that their first meeting left him with a sense that far more than words had passed between them: "There is no invasion of privacy, no alarm, but it is as if his soul is slowly slipping inside mine, and in a split second transferring vital information." Milne also observed another facet of Rajneesh's charismatic ability in stating that he was "a brilliant manipulator of the unquestioning disciple".
Hugh B. Urban said that Rajneesh appeared to fit with Max Weber's classical image of the charismatic figure, being held to possess "an extraordinary supernatural power or 'grace', which was essentially irrational and affective". Rajneesh corresponded to Weber's pure charismatic type in rejecting all rational laws and institutions and claiming to subvert all hierarchical authority, though Urban said that the promise of absolute freedom inherent in this resulted in bureaucratic organisation and institutional control within larger communes.
Some scholars have suggested that Rajneesh, may have had a narcissistic personality. In his paper The Narcissistic Guru: A Profile of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Ronald O. Clarke, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Oregon State University, argued that Rajneesh exhibited all the typical features of narcissistic personality disorder, such as a grandiose sense of self-importance and uniqueness; a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success; a need for constant attention and admiration; a set of characteristic responses to threats to self-esteem; disturbances in interpersonal relationships; a preoccupation with personal grooming combined with frequent resorting to prevarication or outright lying; and a lack of empathy. Drawing on Rajneesh's reminiscences of his childhood in his book Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, he suggested that Rajneesh suffered from a fundamental lack of parental discipline, due to his growing up in the care of overindulgent grandparents. Rajneesh's self-avowed Buddha status, he concluded, was part of a delusional system associated with his narcissistic personality disorder; a condition of ego-inflation rather than egolessness.
Wider appraisal as a thinker and speaker
There are widely divergent assessments of Rajneesh's qualities as a thinker and speaker. Khushwant Singh, an eminent author, historian, and former editor of the Hindustan Times, has described Rajneesh as "the most original thinker that India has produced: the most erudite, the most clearheaded and the most innovative". Singh believes that Rajneesh was a "free-thinking agnostic" who had the ability to explain the most abstract concepts in simple language, illustrated with witty anecdotes, who mocked gods, prophets, scriptures, and religious practices, and gave a totally new dimension to religion. German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, a one time devotee of Rajneesh's (living at the Pune ashram from 1978 to 1980), described him as a "Wittgenstein of religions", ranking him as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century; in his view, Rajneesh had performed a radical deconstruction of the word games played by the world's religions.
During the early 1980s, a number of commentators in the popular press were dismissive of Rajneesh. The Australian critic Clive James scornfully referred to him as "Bagwash", likening the experience of listening to one of his discourses to sitting in a laundrette and watching "your tattered underwear revolve soggily for hours while exuding grey suds. The Bagwash talks the way that he looks." James finished by saying that Rajneesh, though a "fairly benign example of his type", was a "rebarbative dingbat who manipulates the manipulable into manipulating one another". Responding to an enthusiastic review of Rajneesh's talks by Bernard Levin in The Times, Dominik Wujastyk, also writing in The Times, similarly expressed his opinion that the talk he heard while visiting the Poona ashram was of a very low standard, wearyingly repetitive and often factually wrong, and stated that he felt disturbed by the personality cult surrounding Rajneesh.
Writing in the Seattle Post Intelligencer in January 1990, American author Tom Robbins stated that based on his readings of Rajneesh's books, he was convinced Rajneesh was the 20th century's "greatest spiritual teacher". Robbins, while stressing that he was not a disciple, further stated that he had "read enough vicious propaganda and slanted reports to suspect that he was one of the most maligned figures in history". Rajneesh's commentary on the Sikh scripture known as Japuji was hailed as the best available by Giani Zail Singh, the former President of India. In 2011, author Farrukh Dhondy reported that film star Kabir Bedi was a fan of Rajneesh, and viewed Rajneesh's works as "the most sublime interpretations of Indian philosophy that he had come across". Dhondy himself said Rajneesh was "the cleverest intellectual confidence trickster that India has produced. His output of the 'interpretation' of Indian texts is specifically slanted towards a generation of disillusioned westerners who wanted (and perhaps still want) to 'have their cake, eat it' [and] claim at the same time that cake-eating is the highest virtue according to ancient-fused-with-scientific wisdom."
Films about Rajneesh
- 1974: The first documentary film about Rajneesh was made by David M. Knipe. Program 13 of Exploring the Religions of South Asia, "A Contemporary Guru: Rajneesh". (Madison: WHA-TV 1974)
- 1978: The second documentary on Rajneesh called Bhagwan, The Movie was made in 1978 by American filmmaker Robert Hillmann.
- 1979: In 1978 the German film maker Wolfgang Dobrowolny (Sw Veet Artho) visited the Ashram in Poona and created a unique documentary about Rajneesh, his Sannyasins and the ashram, titled Ashram in Poona: Bhagwans Experiment.
- 1981: In 1981, the BBC broadcast an episode in the documentary series The World About Us titled The God that Fled, made by British American journalist Christopher Hitchens.
- 1985 (3 November): CBS News' 60 Minutes aired a segment about the Bhagwan in Oregon.
- 1987: In the mid-eighties Jeremiah Films produced a film Fear is the Master.
- 1989: Another documentary, named Rajneesh: Spiritual Terrorist, was made by Australian film maker Cynthia Connop in the late 1980s for ABC TV/Learning Channel.
- 1989: UK documentary series called Scandal produced an episode entitled, "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: The Man Who Was God".
- 2002: Forensic Files Season 7 Episode 8 takes a look in to how forensics was used to determine the cause of the Bio-Attack in 1984.
- 2010: A Swiss documentary, titled Guru – Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard, was released in 2010.
- 2012: Oregon Public Broadcasting produced the documentary titled Rajneeshpuram which aired 19 November 2012.
- 2016: Rebellious Flower, an Indian-made biographical movie of Rajneesh's early life, based upon his own recollections and those of those who knew him, was released. It was written and produced by Jagdish Bharti and directed by Krishan Hooda, with Prince Shah and Shashank Singh playing the title role.
- 2018: Wild Wild Country, a Netflix documentary series on Rajneesh, focusing on Rajneeshpuram and the controversies surrounding it.
On the sayings of Jesus:
- The Mustard Seed (the Gospel of Thomas)
- Come Follow Me Vols. I – IV
- Tao: The Three Treasures (The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu), Vol I – IV
- The Empty Boat (Stories of Chuang Tzu)
- When the Shoe Fits (Stories of Chuang Tzu)
On Gautama Buddha:
- The Dhammapada (Vols. I – X)
- The Discipline of Transcendence (Vols. I – IV)
- The Heart Sutra
- The Diamond Sutra
- Neither This nor That (On the Xin Xin Ming of Sosan)
- No Water, No Moon
- Returning to the Source
- And the Flowers Showered
- The Grass Grows by Itself
- Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
- The Search (on the Ten Bulls)
- Dang dang doko dang
- Ancient Music in the Pines
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder
- Zen: The Path of Paradox
- This Very Body the Buddha (on Hakuin's Song of Meditation)
On the Baul mystics:
- The Beloved
- Until You Die
- Just Like That
- Unio Mystica Vols. I and II (on the poetry of Sanai)
- The True Sage
- The Art of Dying
On the Upanishads:
- I am That – Talks on Isha Upanishad
- The Supreme Doctrine
- The Ultimate Alchemy Vols. I and II
- Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
- The Hidden Harmony
- Ecstasy: The Forgotten Language
- The Divine Melody
- The Path of Love
On Buddhist Tantra:
- Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
- The Tantra Vision
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega Vols. I – X
(reprinted as Yoga, the Science of the Soul)
On Meditation methods:
- The Book of Secrets, Vols. I – V
- Meditation: the Art of Inner Ecstasy
- The Orange Book
- Meditation: The First and Last Freedom
- Learning to Silence the Mind
On his childhood:
- Glimpses of a Golden Childhood
Talks based on questions:
- I Am the Gate
- The Way of the White Clouds
- The Silent Explosion
- Dimensions Beyond the Known
- Roots and Wings
- The Rebel
- Hammer on the Rock
- Above All, Don't Wobble
- Nothing to Lose but Your Head
- Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle
- The Cypress in the Courtyard
- Get Out of Your Own Way
- Beloved of My Heart
- A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose
- Dance Your Way to God
- The Passion for the Impossible
- The Great Nothing
- God Is Not for Sale
- The Shadow of the Whip
- Blessed Are the Ignorant
- The Buddha Disease
- Being in Love
- 2010 Pune bombing
- Byron v. Rajneesh Foundation International
- Osho Times
- Vijnana Bhairava Tantra
- Rajneesh Movement
- "His lawyers, however, were already negotiating with the United States Attorney's office and, on 14 November he returned to Portland and pleaded guilty to two felonies; making false statements to the immigration authorities in 1981 and concealing his intent to reside in the United States." (FitzGerald 1986b, p. 111 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986b (help))
- "The Bhagwan may also soon need his voice to defend himself on charges he lied on his original temporary-visa application: if the immigration service proves he never intended to leave, the Bhagwan could be deported." (Newsweek, Bhagwan's Realm: The Oregon cult with the leader with 90 golden Rolls Royces, 3 December 1984, United States Edition, National Affairs Pg. 34, 1915 words, Neal Karlen with Pamela Abramson in Rajneeshpuram.)
- "Facing 35 counts of conspiring to violate immigration laws, the guru admitted two charges: lying about his reasons for settling in the U.S. and arranging sham marriages to help foreign disciples join him." (American Notes, Time, Monday, November 1985, available here Archived 9 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine)
- Gordon 1987, pp. 26–27
- Mehta 1993, pp. 83–154
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 77 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Carter 1990, p. 44
- Gordon 1987, pp. 26–27
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Mehta 1993, p. 150
- Joshi 1982, pp. 1–4
- Urban 1996, p. 82
- Carter 1990, p. 45
- Joshi 1982, p. 123
- Mullan 1983, pp. 26
- Carter 1990, pp. 63–64
- FitzGerald 1986b, p. 108 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986b (help)
- Latkin 1992, reprinted inAveling 1999, p. 342
- Staff. "Wasco County History". Oregon Historical County Records Guide. Oregon State Archives. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
- Staff (1990). "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh". Newsmakers 1990. Gale Research. pp. Issue 2.
- Aveling 1999, p. xxii
- "I Charged My Sexual Energies at the OSHO Meditation Resort in India". Vice. 19 April 2015. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
- Trademarks of Osho International Foundation Archived 19 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- OSHO International Foundation Archived 20 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine "is a registered foundation of Switzerland, founded in 1984 and is the owner of all the intellectual property of the contemporary mystic Osho (1931–1990) and the sole and registered owner of all of the copyrights ..."
- Heelas 1996, pp. 22, 40, 68, 72, 77, 95–96
- Forsthoefel & Humes 2005, p. 177
- Urban 2003, p. 242
- Forsthoefel & Humes 2005, pp. 182–183
- Mullan 1983, pp. 10–11
- Mangalwadi 1992, p. 88
- Gordon 1987, p. 21
- Mullan 1983, p. 11
- Osho 1985, p. passim harvnb error: no target: CITEREFOsho1985 (help)
- Joshi 1982, pp. 22–25, 31, 45–48
- Gordon 1987, p. 22
- Gordon 1987, p. 23
- Joshi 1982, p. 38
- Joshi 1982, p. 11
- Süss 1996, p. 29
- Carter 1990, p. 43
- Joshi 1982, p. 50
- Smarika, Sarva Dharma Sammelan, 1974, Taran Taran Samaj, Jabalpur
- (1985) Interview with Howard Sattler, 6PR Radio, Australia, video available here Archived 30 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Mullan 1983, p. 12
- Joshi 1982, p. 185
- Gordon 1987, p. 25
- Lewis & Petersen 2005, p. 122
- Osho 2000, p. 224
- Joshi 1982, p. 88
- Bhed, Gyan (2006). The Rebellious Enlightened Master Osho. New Dehli: Fusion books. p. 273. ISBN 81-8419-047-6.
- Carter 1990, p. 46
- Handa, Mohini (10 June 2020). "Orangebook Osho Discourses". Internet Archive. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Joshi 1982, pp. 94–103
- Carter 1990, p. 47
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 78 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Gordon 1987, pp. 32–33
- Süss 1996, pp. 29–30
- Macdonell Practical Sanskrit Dictionary Archived 17 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine (see entry for bhagavat, which includes Bhagavan as the vocative case of bhagavat). Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 87 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Carter 1990, pp. 48–54
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 80 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Fox 2002, pp. 16–17
- FitzGerald 1986a, pp. 82–83 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Fox 2002, p. 18
- Gordon 1987, pp. 76–78
- Aveling 1994, p. 192
- Mullan 1983, pp. 24–25
- Mehta 1993, p. 93
- Aveling 1994, p. 193
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 83 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Maslin 1981
- Karlen, N., Abramson, P.: Bhagwan's realm, Newsweek, 3 December 1984. Available on N. Karlen's own website. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Prasad 1978
- Mehta 1994, pp. 36–38
- Carter 1990, p. 62
- Gordon 1987, p. 84
- Clarke 2006, p. 466
- Mitra, S., Draper, R., and Chengappa, R.: Rajneesh: Paradise lost, in: India Today, 15 December 1985
- Gordon 1987, p. 71
- Sam 1997, pp. 57–58, 80–83, 112–114 harvnb error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFSam1997 (help)
- Fox 2002, p. 47
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 85 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Goldman 1991
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 227 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- "First suicide squad was set up in Pune 2 years ago". The Times of India. 18 November 2002. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 143
- Mehta 1993, p. 99
- Mullan 1983, pp. 30–31
- Joshi 1982, pp. 157–159
- Gordon 1987, pp. 93–94
- Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 147
- Lewis & Petersen 2005, p. 124
- Guru in Cowboy Country, in: Asia Week, 29 July 1983, pp. 26–36
- Palmer 1988, p. 127, reprinted inAveling 1999, p. 377
- Mistlberger 2010, p. 88
- Geist, William E. (16 September 1981). "Cult in Castle Troubling Montclair". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2008.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Meredith 1988, pp. 308–309
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 86 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Fox 2002, p. 22
- Carter 1990, p. 133
- Carter 1990, pp. 136–138
- Abbott 1990, p. 79
- Latkin 1992, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 339–341
- Abbott 1990, p. 78
- Carter 1987, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 215
- "1000 Friends Challenges Rajneeshpuram Incorporation". Bend Bulletin. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- Sullivan, Edward. "The Quiet Revolution Goes West: The Oregon Planning Program 1961–2011". Marshall Law Review. Marshall University. 45: 362–364.
- (15 April 2011) Les Zaitz. Rajneeshee leaders see enemies everywhere as questions compound – Part 4 of 5, The Oregonian. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Les Zaitz. "Rajneeshees' Utopian dreams collapse as talks turn to murder – Part 5 of 5", The Oregonian, 14 April 2011.
- Hortsch, Dan (18 March 1982). "Fearing 'religious cities' group forms to monitor activities of commune". The Oregonian.
- Theodore Shay. "Rajneeshpuram and the Abuse of Power". Scout Creek Press. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Atiyeh Picks Antelopers over Interlopers". Bend Bulletin. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 89 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- "5 years after Rajneeshee commune collapsed, truth spills out – Part 1 of 5". The Oregonian. Oregon Live. 14 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Richardson, James T. (2004). Regulating Religion, Case Studies from Around the Globe. p. 486.
- Fox 2002, p. 26
- Palmer 1988, p. 128, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 380
- Pellissier, Hank (14 May 2011). "The Bay Citizen: Red Rock Island". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Palmer 1988, p. 127, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 378
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 94 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 93 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Fox 2002, p. 25
- Mullan 1983, p. 135
- Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 156
- Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 157
- Gordon 1987, p. 131
- Palmer 1988, p. 129, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 382
- Palmer & Sharma 1993, pp. 155–158
- Shunyo 1993, p. 74
- "Ich denke nie an die Zukunft". Sri Prakash Von Sinha (in German). 9 December 1985. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Storr 1996, p. 59
- "Rajneesh, Ex-secretary attack each other on TV". The Charlotte Observer. 4 November 1985. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Osho: The Last Testament, Vol. 4, Chapter 19 (transcript of an interview with German magazine, Der Spiegel)
- Urban 2005, p. 179
- Urban 2005, p. 180
- Wright 1985, pp. 141–146 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFWright1985 (help)
- Transcript Archived 17 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine of state grand jury testimony of the guru's dentist about life inside the guru's home and dealings with Sheela. Contributed by: Ed Madrid, The Oregonian.
- Fox 2002, p. 27
- Carter 1990, p. 209
- Martin, Douglas (22 September 1985). "Guru's Commune Roiled As Key Leader Departs". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2008.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Carter 1990, pp. 233–238
- "Guru's arrest not imminent". Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press. 2 October 1985. p. D6.
- Academy of Rajneeshism, ed. (June 1983). Rajneeshism: An Introduction to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Religion. Rajneesh Foundation International. ISBN 0-88050-699-7.
- Sally Carpenter Hale, Associated Press (1 October 1985). "Rajneesh renouncing his cult's religion". The Ledger. p. 8A.
- Carus 2002, p. 50
- Mehta 1993, p. 118
- Aveling 1994, p. 205
- FitzGerald 1986b, p. 109 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986b (help)
- Aveling 1999, p. 17
- Fox 2002, p. 50
- Gordon 1987, p. 210
- Gordon 1987, pp. 210, 241
- King, Elroy (23 July 1985). "Plea bargain said best deal possible". Dalles Chronicle.
- United States District Court for the District of Oregon (May 1990), Ava Avalos' court testimony (PDF), archived (PDF) from the original on 7 September 2018, retrieved 3 June 2018
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- FitzGerald 1986b, p. 110 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986b (help)
- Carter 1990, p. 232
- Palmer & Sharma 1993, p. 52
- "Transfer delayed – Rajneesh to stay for another night in Oklahoma city". Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press. 5 November 1985. p. A2.
- Carter 1990, pp. 232, 233, 238
- FitzGerald 1986b, p. 111 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986b (help)
- Carter 1990, pp. 234–235
- Gordon 1987, pp. 199–201
- AP (16 November 1985). "Around the Nation; Guru's Disciples to Sell Some Commune Assets". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2008.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Bell, Steven (1986). "Recent Judicial, Legislative and Administrative Developments Relating to Immigration and Nationality Law". Immigr. & Nat'lity L. Rev. Immigration & Nationality: xiii–xiv, xxxi.
- "World must put U.S. 'monster' in its place, guru says". Chicago Tribune. 18 November 1985. p. 5.
- Carter 1990, p. 241
- Shunyo 1993, pp. 121, 131, 151
- Fox 2002, p. 29
- Gordon 1987, p. 223
- Fox 2002, p. 34
- Aveling 1994, pp. 197–198
- Fox 2002, pp. 32–33
- Fox 2002, pp. 35–36
- Palmer & Sharma 1993, p. 148
- Akre B. S.: Rajneesh Conspiracy, Associated Press Writer, Portland (APwa 12/15 1455)
- Süss 1996, p. 30
- "OSHO: Background Information". Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Fox 2002, p. 37
- Shunyo 1993, pp. 252–253
- AP (20 January 1990). "Rajneesh Mourned in India" Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, The Item. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
- Swami Chaitanya Keerti (19 January 2018). "Art of conscious birth and death". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019.
- Dikshit, Ashish (24 August 2016). "29 Years On, Osho's Death Remains a Mystery". TheQuint. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
- Fox 2002, pp. 1–2
- Mullan 1983, p. 1
- Fox 2002, p. 1
- Fox 2002, p. 6
- Urban 1996, p. 169
- Mullan 1983, p. 33
- Carter 1990, p. 267
- Prasad 1978, pp. 14–17
- Carter 1987, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 209
- Carter 1990, p. 50
- Clarke 2006, p. 433
- Fox 2002, p. 3
- Urban 1996, p. 171
- Wallis 1986, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 130–133
- Fox 2002, pp. 3–4
- Fox 2002, p. 4
- Fox 2002, p. 5
- Urban 1996, p. 172
- Gordon 1987, pp. 3–8
- Osho 2004, p. 35
- Aveling 1994, p. 198
- Urban 1996, p. 170
- Aveling 1994, p. 86
- Gordon 1987, p. 114
- Neil Pate (3 January 2004). "Celluloid Rajneesh, quite a hit". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Ranjit Lal, (16 May 2004). A hundred years of solitude. The Hindu. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- FitzGerald 1986a, p. 47 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986a (help)
- Lewis & Petersen 2005, p. 129
- Urban 1996, p. 175
- Fox 2002, p. 7
- Brecher, Max (2013). A Passage to America: A Radically New Look at Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and a Controversial American Commune (PDF). pp. 52–53. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree (1983). Theologica Mystica. Discourses on the treatise of st Dionysius. Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, USA: Rajneesh Foundation International. pp. Chapter 2. ISBN 0-88050-655-5.
- Osho (2009). It's all about change : the greatest challenge to create a golden future for humanity (New and updated ed.). New York. ISBN 978-0-88050-437-9. OCLC 874902862.
- Osho, The Greatest Challenge: The Golden Future, available Archived 6 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine here
- Osho (7 March 2008). Just Like That: Talks on Sufi Stories. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 9788184751703.
- "Ideals – Imprisonment – Freedom? – OSHO Online Library". OSHO – Transform Yourself through the Science of Meditation. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Osho (24 May 2016). The Beauty of the Human Soul: Provocations Into Consciousness. Osho Media International. ISBN 9780880501965.
- Osho, 1931–1990. (c. 1985). The Rajneesh Bible. Rajneeshpuram, Or., U.S.A.: Rajneesh Foundational International. ISBN 0880502002. OCLC 11813128.
- Sam (1997). "Life of Osho" (PDF). Sannyas. p. 251. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 June 2019.
- Bharati, Ageh (2007). Blessed Days with Osho. India: Diamond Pocket Books. ISBN 9788128817007.
- Lewis & Petersen 2005, pp. 128–129
- Forsthoefel & Humes 2005, pp. 181–183
- Bombay High Court tax judgment, sections 12–14. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- Fox 2002, p. 42
- Alam, Tanweer (29 December 2011). "Bending towards justice". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2012.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "In memoriam". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 September 2006. Archived from the original on 14 December 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "Osho rises from his ashes in Nepal". Sudeshna Sarkar. News Post India. 19 January 2008. "Today, there are five communes in Nepal and 60 centres with almost 45,000 initiated disciples. OSHO Tapoban also runs a centre for visitors that can accommodate 150 people, a coffee shop, a magazine and an online newsletter."
- "Vinod Khanna plays the spiritual franchiser". Tribune News Service. 25 July 2002. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Süss 1996, p. 45
- Carter 1987, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 182, 189
- "The Glorious Rise & Scandalous Fall of 'Sex Guru' Osho". The Quint. Archived from the original on 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- "Business of the Gods". Shantanu Guha Ray. 30 June 2007. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- Lewis & Petersen 2005, p. 120
- Carrette & King 2004, p. 154
- Heelas 1996, p. 63
- Fox 2002, p. 41
- "National seminar on 'Zorba the Buddha' inaugurated", The Hitavada, 5 February 2011
- "FAQ's". Osho International Meditation Resort. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Mehta 1993, p. 133
- Chryssides 1999, pp. 207–208
- Joshi 1982, p. 1
- Mehta 1993, p. 83
- Joshi 1982, p. 2
- Galanter 1989, pp. 95–96, 102
- Mehta 1993, p. 151
- Mullan 1983, p. 48
- Mullan 1983, p. 32
- Mullan 1983, pp. 48, 89–90
- Forsthoefel & Humes 2005, pp. 181–185
- Clarke 2006, pp. 432–433
- Storr 1996, p. 47
- Palmer 1988, p. 122, reprinted in Aveling 1999, p. 368
- Mullan 1983, p. 67
- Gordon 1987, p. 109
- FitzGerald 1986b, p. 106 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFitzGerald1986b (help)
- Wallis 1986, p. 159
- Clarke 1988, p. 67
- Belfrage 1981, p. 137
- Milne 1986, p. 48
- Milne 1986, p. 307
- Urban 1996, p. 168
- Storr 1996, p. 50
- Huth 1993, pp. 204–226
- Clarke 1988, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 55–89
- Bhawuk 2003, p. 14
- Khushwant Singh, writing in the Indian Express, 25 December 1988, quoted e.g., here
- Sloterdijk 1996, p. 105
- Peter Sloterdijk vita. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- Mullan 1983, pp. 8–9
- James, Clive (9 August 1981). "The Bagwash Speaks". Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Adieu to God: Why Psychology Leads to Atheism" Mick Power. p114
- (10 August 2004) Obituary of Bernard Levin, The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- (25 April 2011) Farrukh Dhondy. "God Knows", Hindustan Times. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- (1978) Bhagwan, The Movie, by Robert Hillman available here Archived 17 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- "Ashram in Poona: Bhagwans Experiment (1979)". Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Ashram in Poona available here Archived 23 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine
- (9 June 2004). Time Shift: Gurus, BBC. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- (1987) Fear is the Master,preview available here Archived 11 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- Cynthia Connop, Women Make Movies. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- "Bhagwhan Shree Rajneesh: The Man Who Was God". Archived from the original on 7 September 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- Martina Knoben (27 September 2010). "Der Preis der Hingabe", Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 9 July 2011. (in German)
- "Rajneeshpuram". 19 November 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
- "Rebellious Flower". IMDb. 15 January 2016. Archived from the original on 7 December 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
- Wollaston, Simon. "Wild Wild Country review – Netflix's take on the cult that threatened American life". The Guardian Newspaper. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Abbott, Carl (1990), "Utopia and Bureaucracy: The Fall of Rajneeshpuram, Oregon", The Pacific Historical Review, 59 (1): 77–103, doi:10.2307/3640096, JSTOR 3640096.
- Aveling, Harry (1994), The Laughing Swamis, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1118-6.
- Aveling, Harry (ed.) (1999), Osho Rajneesh and His Disciples: Some Western Perceptions, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1599-8CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link). (Includes studies by Susan J. Palmer, Lewis F. Carter, Roy Wallis, Carl Latkin, Ronald O. Clarke and others previously published in various academic journals.)
- Bhawuk, Dharm P. S. (2003), "Culture's influence on creativity: the case of Indian spirituality", International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27 (1): 1–22, doi:10.1016/S0147-1767(02)00059-7.
- Carter, Lewis F. (1987), "The 'New Renunciates' of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Observations and Identification of Problems of Interpreting New Religious Movements", Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 26 (2): 148–172, doi:10.2307/1385791, JSTOR 1385791, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 175–218.
- Belfrage, Sally (1981), Flowers of Emptiness: Reflections on an Ashram, New York, NY: Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-27162-X.
- Carrette, Jeremy; King, Richard (2004), Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion, New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-30209-9.
- Carter, Lewis F. (1990), Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpuram: A Community without Shared Values, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-38554-7.
- Carus, W. Seth (2002), Bioterrorism and Biocrimes (PDF), The Minerva Group, Inc., ISBN 1-4101-0023-5, archived from the original on 19 January 2012CS1 maint: unfit URL (link).
- Chryssides, George D. (1999), Exploring New Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6.
- Clarke, Peter B. (2006), Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-45383-7.
- Clarke, Ronald O. (1988), "The Narcissistic Guru: A Profile of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh", Free Inquiry (Spring 1988): 33–35, 38–45, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 55–89.
- Urban, Hugh B. (2005), "Osho, From Sex Guru to Guru of the Rich: The Spiritual Logic of Late Capitalism", in Forsthoefel, Thomas A.; Cynthia Ann Humes (eds.), Gurus in America, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-6573-8.
- FitzGerald, Frances (22 September 1986), "Rajneeshpuram", The New Yorker, retrieved 12 July 2011.
- FitzGerald, Frances (29 September 1986), "Rajneeshpuram", The New Yorker, retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Forsthoefel, Thomas A.; Humes, Cynthia Ann (eds.) (2005), Gurus in America, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-6574-8CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link).
- Fox, Judith M. (2002), Osho Rajneesh – Studies in Contemporary Religion Series, No. 4, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-156-2.
- Galanter, Marc (ed.) (1989), Cults and New Religious Movements: A Report of the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Publishers, ISBN 0-89042-212-5CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link).
- Goldman, Marion S. (1991), "Reviewed Work(s): Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpuram: The Role of Shared Values in the Creation of a Community by Lewis F. Carter", Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30 (4): 557–558, doi:10.2307/1387299, JSTOR 1387299.
- Gordon, James S. (1987), The Golden Guru, Lexington, MA: The Stephen Greene Press, ISBN 0-8289-0630-0.
- Heelas, Paul (1996), The New Age Movement: Religion, Culture and Society in the Age of Postmodernity, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-19332-4.
- Huth, Fritz-Reinhold (1993), Das Selbstverständnis des Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in seinen Reden über Jesus (in German), Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Peter Lang GmbH (Studia Irenica, vol. 36), ISBN 3-631-45987-4.
- Joshi, Vasant (1982), The Awakened One, San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, ISBN 0-06-064205-X.
- Latkin, Carl A. (1992), "Seeing Red: A Social-Psychological Analysis", Sociological Analysis, 53 (3): 257–271, doi:10.2307/3711703, JSTOR 3711703, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 337–361.
- Lewis, James R.; Petersen, Jesper Aagaard (eds.) (2005), Controversial New Religions, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-515682-XCS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link).
- Mangalwadi, Vishal (1992), The World of Gurus, Chicago: Cornerstone Press, ISBN 0-940895-03-X.
- Maslin, Janet (13 November 1981), "Ashram (1981) Life at an Ashram, Search for Inner Peace (movie review)", The New York Times, retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Mehta, Gita (1994), Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East, New York: Vintage, ISBN 0-679-75433-4.
- Mehta, Uday (1993), Modern Godmen in India: A Sociological Appraisal, Mumbai: Popular Prakashan, ISBN 81-7154-708-7.
- Meredith, George (1988), Bhagwan: The Most Godless Yet the Most Godly Man, Pune: Rebel Publishing House.
- Milne, Hugh (1986), Bhagwan: The God That Failed, London: Caliban Books, ISBN 1-85066-006-9.
- Mistlberger, P.T. (2010), The Three Dangerous Magi: Osho, Gurdjieff, Crowley, O Books, p. 713, ISBN 978-1-84694-435-2, retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Mullan, Bob (1983), Life as Laughter: Following Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, London, Boston, Melbourne and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul Books Ltd, ISBN 0-7102-0043-9.
- Osho (2000), Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin, ISBN 0-312-25457-1.
- Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1985), Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Rajneeshpuram: Rajneesh Foundation International, ISBN 0-88050-715-2.
- Osho (2004), Meditation: the first and last freedom, St. Martin's Griffin, ISBN 978-0-312-33663-9.
- Palmer, Susan J. (1988), "Charisma and Abdication: A Study of the Leadership of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh", Sociological Analysis, 49 (2): 119–135, doi:10.2307/3711009, JSTOR 3711009, S2CID 67776207, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 363–394.
- Palmer, Susan J.; Sharma, Arvind (eds.) (1993), The Rajneesh Papers: Studies in a New Religious Movement, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1080-5CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link).
- Prasad, Ram Chandra (1978), Rajneesh: The Mystic of Feeling, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 0-89684-023-9.
- Sam (1997), Life of Osho (PDF), London: Sannyas, archived from the original on 21 March 2012, retrieved 12 July 2011CS1 maint: unfit URL (link).
- Shunyo, Ma Prem (1993), My Diamond Days with Osho: The New Diamond Sutra, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1111-9.
- Sloterdijk, Peter (1996), Selbstversuch: Ein Gespräch mit Carlos Oliveira (in German), München, Wien: Carl Hanser Verlag, ISBN 3-446-18769-3.
- Storr, Anthony (1996), Feet of Clay – A Study of Gurus, London: Harper Collins, ISBN 0-00-255563-8.
- Süss, Joachim (1996), Bhagwans Erbe: Die Osho-Bewegung heute (in German), Munich: Claudius Verlag, ISBN 3-532-64010-4.
- Urban, Hugh B. (1996), "Zorba The Buddha: Capitalism, Charisma and the Cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh", Religion, 26 (2): 161–182, doi:10.1006/reli.1996.0013.
- Urban, Hugh B. (2003), Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-23656-4.
- Wallis, Roy (1986), "Religion as Fun? The Rajneesh Movement", Sociological Theory, Religion and Collective Action, Queen's University, Belfast: 191–224, reprinted in Aveling 1999, pp. 129–161.
- Appleton, Sue (1987), Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: The Most Dangerous Man Since Jesus Christ, Cologne: Rebel Publishing House, ISBN 3-89338-001-9.
- Bharti, Ma Satya (1981), Death Comes Dancing: Celebrating Life With Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, London, Boston, MA and Henley: Routledge, ISBN 0-7100-0705-1.
- Bharti Franklin, Satya (1992), The Promise of Paradise: A Woman's Intimate Story of the Perils of Life With Rajneesh, Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, ISBN 0-88268-136-2.
- Braun, Kirk (1984), Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society, West Linn, OR: Scout Creek Press, ISBN 0-930219-00-7.
- Brecher, Max (1993), A Passage to America, Mumbai, India: Book Quest Publishers.
- FitzGerald, Frances (1986), Cities on a Hill: A Journey Through Contemporary American Cultures, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-55209-0. (Includes a 135-page section on Rajneeshpuram previously published in two parts in The New Yorker magazine, 22 September, and 29 September 1986 editions.)
- Forman, Juliet (2002) , Bhagwan: One Man Against the Whole Ugly Past of Humanity, Cologne: Rebel Publishing House, ISBN 3-89338-103-1.
- Goldman, Marion S. (1999), Passionate Journeys – Why Successful Women Joined a Cult, The University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0-472-11101-9
- Guest, Tim (2005), My Life in Orange: Growing up with the Guru, London: Granta Books, ISBN 1-86207-720-7.
- Gunther, Bernard (Swami Deva Amit Prem) (1979), Dying for Enlightenment: Living with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, New York, NY: Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-063527-4.
- Hamilton, Rosemary (1998), Hellbent for Enlightenment: Unmasking Sex, Power, and Death With a Notorious Master, Ashland, OR: White Cloud Press, ISBN 1-883991-15-3.
- Latkin, Carl A.; Sundberg, Norman D.; Littman, Richard A.; Katsikis, Melissa G.; Hagan, Richard A. (1994), "Feelings after the fall: former Rajneeshpuram Commune members' perceptions of and affiliation with the Rajneeshee movement", Sociology of Religion, 55 (1): 65–74, doi:10.2307/3712176, JSTOR 3712176.
- McCormack, Win (1985), Oregon Magazine: The Rajneesh Files 1981–86, Portland, OR: New Oregon Publishers, Inc.
- Palmer, Susan Jean (1994), Moon Sisters, Krishna Mother, Rajneesh Lovers: Women's Roles in New Religions, Syracuse University Press, ISBN 978-0-8156-0297-2
- Quick, Donna (1995), A Place Called Antelope: The Rajneesh Story, Ryderwood, WA: August Press, ISBN 0-9643118-0-1.
- Shay, Theodore L. (1985), Rajneeshpuram and the Abuse of Power, West Linn, OR: Scout Creek Press.
- Thompson, Judith; Heelas, Paul (1986), The Way of the Heart: The Rajneesh Movement, Wellingborough, UK: The Aquarian Press (New Religious Movements Series), ISBN 0-85030-434-2.
- Zaitz, Les. 25 years after Rajneeshee commune collapsed, truth spills out. The Oregonian. 2011.
- rajneesh on archive.org
- rajneesh archive collection
- Zaitz, Les (14 April 2011). "Rajneeshees in Oregon: The Untold History". The Oregonian. Retrieved 25 April 2018. (updated 12 July 2017).
- Turnquist, Kristi (19 March 2018). "Netflix documentary on Rajneeshees in Oregon revisits an amazing, enraging true story". The Oregonian. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- Osho bibliography – On Sannyas Wiki site, a site devoted to Osho's work, his discourses, his books, and the music made around him
- rajneesh was once attacked with a knife discourse * Vilas Tupe Throws Knife Towards Osho In A Discourse... * Date – 22 May 1980 Day – Thursday Time & Venue – Morning, Buddha Hall, Rajneesh Ashram, Pune, India In the above photo video you will hear the voice of Vilas Tupe shouting: from at around 23 Minutes: 14 Seconds