Osho, initially known as Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain, arrived on this planet on December 11,1931, in a small village, Kuchwada in Central India. Being the eldest among the 11 kids of a cloth merchant, Osho was a rebellious child. He often asked questions and got into debate with those who used to address religious gatherings in his village. His parents used to tell him to keep his mouth shut before any such gathering, which he rarely did. Osho had a great attachment with rivers. His father used to take him to a river flowing close by his village. He used to spent hours in the waters and developed a relationship and gratitude towards it. He was a good swimmer.
Osho never liked to be spoonfed. Whether it was about learning to ride a bicycle or a car. In his discourses he often quotes that he used to watch others doing the act and learn by their mistakes. For instance, he learned that kids learning bicycle riding tend to fall in the beginning until they manage to balance it and that a certain speed is required to keep the bicycle in balance. And when it was time to take his first ride, he tried the trick and rode so fast that he did not fall once; however, to stop it he had to put the bicycle into a hollow tree, but he did not fall.
In the classroom, he was the biggest challenge for his teachers. He irritated them by repeatedly asking questions after questions. Interestingly, questions were genuine and they were there to be asked and clarified. He just wanted the teachers (one of the teacher) to accept the fact that they do not know if they do not know. That class never made to the second chapter in the mid session until the management had to intervene and Osho was suspended.
At the young age of 21, he became enlightened. He used to sit under a tree at a park in Jabalpur meditating for hours. He was Majoring in Philosophy at that time. He earned his Masters Degree from the University of Sagar with Honors in Philosophy. He was the All-India Debating Champion and Gold Medal winner.
In 1957, he started working as a professor at the Sanskrit College in Raipur. In 1958, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jabalpur, where he taught until 1966. He used to travel throughout the country addressing people and challenging priests and religious heads in public debates.
In 1966, he quit the job with the idea of devoting himself solely to the work of raising human consciousness and started addressing large audiences in the major cities of the country. He conducted meditation camps at least four times a year. Four years later, he introduced ‘Dynamic Meditation’ which was just opposite to the traditional sitting-posture meditation. He said that this form was more suited to a common man who was busy in keeping pace with the world.
He was now called as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. People from every corner of the world came to him and he accepted them as his disciples. For seven years, he spoke for more than one and a half hours every morning, alternating every month between Hindi and English. His discourses had been collected in over 600 volumes and translated into 50 languages. He spoke on Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Zen, Sufism, etc. He also spoke on Jesus, Islam, Judaism, and Tao and Zen Masters. He gave discourses of various saints and mystics of the world and on various mythological characters.
He used to answer the listeners’ queries after the discourses. They have been complied into diaries and 40 of them have been published.
He had developed a severe back condition and had to visit U.S. for a possible surgery. His followers in U.S. purchased a 64,000-acre land in Oregon and invited him to visit. Osho accepted and soon applied for a permanent residence in America. Thus came into existence, Rajneeshpuram, a commune in the Oregon desert that soon became one of the largest spiritual community in America.
In 1984, Osho’s personal secretary, Ma Anand Sheela and a few others suddenly disappeared from the commune, who were later found to have indulged in some illegal and criminal acts. In October 1985, Osho was arrested with a few others in Charlotte, North Carolina and had to spent 12 days in custody. It is said that it was probable that he was poisoned while in jail; however, it is not confirmed yet. Finally, he was fined heavily and deported from America.
After the Nepalese Government refused visas to his followers in Nepal, he went on to go on a world tour. While he was in Greece, the first country he visited on his world tour, he was arrested and deported. At that time, 17 European and American nations have either refused to grant him a visa or revoke his visa and forced him to leave. Strangely, he was granted permanent residence in Uruguay but only months later he was asked to leave Uruguay.
Next, he was deported from Jamaica and Portugal. Twenty-one countries had denied him entry or deported him after arrival. Yet, he continued his work. He had the most challenging path ever chosen by a mystic. His doors were open for all and whoever wanted to follow was welcomed by him.
On July 29,1986, he returned to Mumbai, India. First, he stopped using the name ‘Bhagwan’ and then dropped ‘Rajneesh’ too. From that moment, he was known as “Osho,” and the ashram renamed “Osho Commune International.”
In January 1990, while at the Osho International Commune, Pune, he became very weak and ill. On January 19, his pulse became irregular. Osho refused cardiac resuscitation. He said,”No, just let me go. Existence decides its timing.” He left his body at 5 p.m. His departure from this planet was celebrated in the auditorium with his body in the center. He was cremated and his ashes were placed in his Samadhi in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Pune, with the inscription:
Only Visited This Planet Earth Between
11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990