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Copyright 2001 Realization.org.

 

 
 
  REFERENCE
 

Osho

1931 - 1990


 

Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was a fully enlightened master who lived during the twentieth century.

He was also a man of extraordinary intelligence, erudition, charisma, and powers of communication.


Some people thought of him as a guru of hedonism, an impressario of spiritual Mardi Gras. Tens of thousands of seekers jetted across oceans to his ashrams and communes to participate in giddy, high-energy experiments in living and consciousness.

But he was also a professor of philosophy, a lover of literature, and the author of an extraordinary library of books that explain the Hindu and Buddhist scriptures in matter-of-fact, crystal-clear English.

In the 1980s, he and his followers built a 65,000-acre city from scratch in the Oregon wilderness. Some people called it an experiment to provoke God, and others called it a fascist concentration camp.

Controversy surrounded him; he was accused of crimes and eventually deported from the United States for violations of immigration law.

He has left us a great legacy: his books. We think they are the clearest maps of the roads to enlightenment that anybody drew during the twentieth century.

 

Biography

Born in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh, India on December 11, 1931. His parents gave him the name Rajneesh Chandra Mohan and raised him as a Jain. When he was seven, his grandfather died with his head in Osho's lap while riding to the doctor in a bullock cart. Osho became enlightened at 21 and graduated at about the same time from the University of Saugar with first-class honors in philosophy. While a student, he won the All-India Debating Championship. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Jabalpur for nine years. In 1966, he left his teaching post and established an ashram in Bombay. In 1974, he left Bombay and established an ashram in Poona. In 1981, he moved to the United States and established an ashram in Oregon. In 1986 he was deported from the United States for violations of immigration law (to which he pleaded no contest) and returned to Poona. He died on January 19, 1990.

 

His Awakening

Osho wrote a wonderful description of his awakening -- perhaps the best account of enlightenment that has ever been written. It's on the web here.

 

His Teachings

Osho understood and was able to interpret almost every method that anybody ever used to gain enlightenment, but the technique he stressed above all else was the habit of watching the mind. This leads to mindlessness, which in turn leads to enlightenment. He explains this technique here.

 

Recommended Writings

The Book of Secrets: The Science of Meditation
By Osho

This mammoth 1184-page book is Osho's commentary on the Vijnana-Bhairava, the ancient Sanskrit how-to manual that describes 112 methods of attaining enlightenment. Please note that some of the material in this book is also contained in Meditation: The First and Last Freedom,, recommended below. Buy it from Amazon.

 

 

Meditation: The First and Last Freedom
By Osho

One of the best all-around manuals for meditators. Osho believes meditation is watchfulness; he explains how to do it and how to let it carry you to enlightenment. Please note that some of the material in this book is also contained in The Book of Secrets, recommended above. Buy it from Amazon.

 

 

In Search of the Miraculous:
Chakras, Kundalini, and the Seven Bodies
By Osho

Using simple analogies and anecdotes, Osho talks about kundalini, sex, shaktipat, chakras, tantra, and related subjects. Buy it from Amazon.

 


The Only Meditation There Is: Watching
by
Osho
In plain, easy-to-understand language (like everything Osho wrote), this article explains that meditation means watching your mind. Watching your mind leads to mindlessness. In mindlessness your mind is quiet, but it's a different quiet than the one that results from forcible suppression. Make this a habit, and everything else follows automatically. It's
on the web here.


The Day I Got Enlightened

by Osho
The best account we've ever read of what it's like to get enlightened. It's on the web here.


Some Remarks About Effort
by Osho
Effort is the subject of endless debate. Some seekers say effort is needed to reach enlightenment; others say it's unnecessary or counterproductive. Osho's remarks on the subject are interesting because he understands the validity of both points of view. Some of his comments are on the web here.

 

Links

The two main websites on Osho are the Osho International Foundation and Friends of Osho.

A longer biography of Osho from Friends of Osho.

The Real Osho: a short biography by Sw Deva Sarlo.

A critical assessment of Osho by Christopher Calder.

For a critical look at Osho and the organization he founded, see here.

 

This page was published on January 11, 2000 and
last revised on November 1, 2001.


Copyright 2001 Realization.org. All rights reserved.