Osho is a popular name that many of us have heard of in our lives. Many have seen Osho in their timeline pictures, with some quotes attached to it. That was the way I first saw Osho or distinctively his picture. An old man with a long beard, distinctive unique look, and black hat in his head, that was some appearance. I wondered who the man was and why he had such a strong presence even in the pictures. I researched and found that man to be Osho, who was extremely popular for his perception of life, thinking, and leader of the spiritual movement.
The early life of Osho
Osho is not his actual birth name but is the name that he acquired when he walked his journey of spirituality. The name that was given to him by his parents at his birth was Chandra Mohan Jain. He was born on December 11, 1931. Chandra Mohan was the eldest sibling of the 11 children. His father was a cloth merchant. Babulal was the name of his father and Saraswati was the name of his mother. He was born at the house of his grandparents from the mother’s side. They lived in a small village in India called Kuchwada. Osho lived with his grandparents till he was eight years old.
After the death of his grandfather, he then again started living with his parents. It is said that the way his grandparents raised him became the first brick in the spiritual journey of Osho. The freedom provided by them let Osho explore his thoughts and ideas.
Osho in his school life was a rebellious teen full of energy and lots of questions. He questioned the way of things and how the rules and system were. He was praised in his school life as a formidable debater which was famous for his amazing perception and ideology.
In 1951 he began his university life at a college in Jaipur but left after a massive argument with the instructor shortly. After that, he transferred to another university and there also had arguments with the instructors and systems. Then a certain arrangement was made regarding his studies, he only had to sit exams and did not have to attend the classes. Then in his free time during the day, as he did not must attend the class, he started working in a newspaper as an editor. Then at the same time, he started working on his public speaking and communication skills, in which he was particularly good from an exceedingly early age.
After Osho started to turn into an adult, his parents wanted him to marry someone suitable and settle down. However, Osho first handily rejected this idea as he had something else entirely in his mind other than marriage and continued with his life as he wished. After all these events something changed Osho’s life’s trajectory. It is said that at the age of 21 in 1953 sitting under a tree in Bhanvartal garden in Jabalpur he became self-enlightened. He experienced true bliss in which he went through the magical experience and attained knowledge.
Osho shortly completed his study and as a fresh graduate started his job as a teacher. However, after a brief time being recruited as a teacher Osho was asked to be transferred by the vice-chancellor of the Raipur Sanskrit collage. As the chancellor of the college believed that Osho was giving wrong teachings to the students which were turning the morals of the students into questionable ones. Despite some difficulties by others and circumstances, Osho continued his teaching profession.
Teaching and Travelling
Osho remained a teacher his whole life, he taught people what he knew and what he had found out in his life of meditation and spirituality. However, after graduation, he was a teacher who taught academics and was a part of the university and curriculum. Osho spent some time of his life as an academic teacher.
However, in parallel to his teaching job Osho was also traveling. It was not just some travel but was a type of travel to distribute knowledge and wisdom. This teaching differed from his life as a teacher in the university as this class was not bound to a specific location and single sally bus. He gave knowledge about society, socialism, Gandhi and his ways,
Religions, and their integration into society. When Osho traveled into various parts of the country to give knowledge, and his wisdom he was not known as Osho or Chandra Mohan but was known as Acharya Rajneesh. This was the nickname he acquired when he started distributing his knowledge to the world. Acharya in Sanskrit means the teacher and as for other parts of the name Rajneesh, it necessarily does not have anything to do with teaching but was his childhood nickname that later became his identity.
Giving up the job of academic teacher
Osho took his teaching profession and traveling campaigns side by side for some time. During his travels, Osho used to give his opinion regarding many things. From figures of history to models of society, rules, and regulations, and many more. He gave his opinions on the subject that attracted his interest. Some perceptions and speech of Osho were regarded as controversial and some groups did not take the speeches kindly. On the contrary, some were mesmerized by the speeches and campaigns provided by Osho. In time Osho had gathered an enormous number of followers who liked his perceptions and were attracted to the idea.
This continued for some time. He not only gave his perception about society and its elements but pointed out some factors that are hampering it and some factors that could elevate the life and living standard of people. Those elements primarily were the factors that affected the Indian society of that time. According to Osho Capitalism, modern technologies, science, and birth control were the things if focused on an elevated in time will enhance the life of the people living in Indian society.
At this point, Osho has become an extremely popular name, even some famous and powerful people have started to approach him to guide them in the path of spirituality. Aside from that Osho was the center of attraction of many as some of his speeches and opinions were considered very controversial towards the mainstream public and masses. In 1966, the university in which he was teaching asked him to resign from his position of teacher in midst of Osho becoming the central figure in some speech controversies.
Osho, who once was regarded as one of the brightest and best teachers they had, who was praised for his abilities to communicate as a teacher to his students, who was praised for how far he had come despite being from a small village now had to leave the job because the same university that once used to praise him is asking to do.
Indian press gave him the title of sex guru after another incidence in Osho’s life. Osho like other influencers, yogis, and public figures had never deviated from controversial topics like sex and other taboos. He always gave his clear opinion about them, ignoring the consequences and how people will take them. In 1968 he gave a lecture which later got published as from sex to super consciousness. After this, the Indian media came into play and named Osho the Sex guru.
Second world Hindu Conference
Osho attained the second world Hindu conference and gave his perception regarding religion and how it should be. He said that true religion should be something that teaches the methods the enjoying life. Osho further in his speech criticized priests and Godmen who come between people and their happiness to fulfill their self-interests. According to him many priests and Godmen were not acting in the favor of the public but their own.
Dynamic meditation and disciples of Osho
Osho introduced Dynamic meditation to the world in a meditation gathering in 1970. Then Osho allowed people to officially become his disciples and follow him. He called them neo-sannyasis. To become the disciple of Osho one had to acquire a new name and wear orange clothes that are worn by the Hindu sages and monks. They wore a chain of beads around their neck with the picture of Osho.
According to Osho, he asked his disciples not to worship him as he was the medium the catalyst only towards another goal. In 1971 Osho obtained a new name, from Acharya Rajneesh he became Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. At this point, Osho not only had the followers of India but had started to attract foreigners with his ideas and speeches. Currently, Osho is in Mumbai. However, the humidity and climate of Mumbai had negative effects on the health of Osho. He suffered from various diseases such as Asthma and Diabetes. After this Osho relocated to Pune.
Osho moved to Pune from Mumbai due to his deteriorating health. In Pune, Osho remained from 1974 to 1981. The followers of Osho were rising and the name Osho was becoming powerful in the world of spirituality and freedom. Now, aside from lectures and speeches in Pune Ashram, several other programs have also run. Various therapy, meditation techniques, and many other programs help the people who come there with their problems. Osho himself aided them to find out suitable programs when they described their situations to him. They also could choose for themselves if it were free, they could do whatever they like.
At the early phase of these mostly experimental programs various activities were added, which again stirred up the controversies after the ways got leaked into the press. After the experimentation phase, a properly well-conducted therapy schedule of programs was created, and people liked it very much. Osho and his teachings were getting increasingly popular day by day, not just the people of the country but foreigners were also flooding to the ashram. Pune ashram was at the limit and the ashram needed more space. Various other ashrams were opened in various parts of the country, providing various therapies and programs.
The United States and Rajneesh Puram
After India Osho moved to the United States, as Pune ashram had legal issues in India. He wished to move his ashram to the United States.
Rajneesh Puram was established in 1981. Rajneesh Puram was established to fulfill the dream of Osho to have a place where he and his disciples could freely follow their beliefs and rituals. Rajneesh Puram consisted entirely of the populations that followed Osho. Rajneesh Puram dealt with many problems and controversies from its planning to its establishment. Osho and his followers dealt with all of them, making them ideal and safe places for himself and his disciples.
Back to Pune
In 1985 Osho left the United States of America and returned to India and again to settle there. After returning from America, he was warmly welcomed by his followers. In India, Osho started traveling to various places to meet his followers and disciples. He visited Manali and after some time came to visit Nepal also. In 1987, Osho returned to Pune.
At this point, Osho’s health was deteriorating, and he was extremely ill. The illness of his body was hampering his work and day-to-day activities. However, after the arrival of Osho in Pune again, the followers who were left behind when he moved to America got new light in his presence. Due to their followers, the Pune ashram had to be expanded to fit the people who wanted to live with him. Osho’s health further worsened, he told that when he was in the USA, at one time he was in police custody and there they poisoned him, and he had been ill since.
Osho died on 19 January 1990 in Pune at his ashram. The medical cause of Osho’s death is told to be the failure of the heart. However, some believe that he died due to the poisoning when he was in the custody of American police. His death is a very controversial topic as different peoples have different perceptions and points of view regarding that.