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My First Encounter with OSHO (philosophy)

The influence of OSHO

I vividly remember the day when a young boy (probably in his early twenties), walked into my office stealthily and closed the door behind him. I might have thrown a questioning glance at him, in response to which he blurted out (with no premeditation), his desire to seek advice from me on some issue which had been literally tearing him apart for a long time. This happened almost ten years ago.

I had known this boy for about a year; he had joined our law firm as an apprentice and I had specially put in a word for him to the management for his appointment. He had all along been a hard working and an honest person with a creative bent and for that, I had special admiration for him. However, lately, everyone in the office had started noticing a steep decline in his efficiency; he had become a perpetual late comer in the mornings and used to walk in to the office with a dazed look in his eyes and unkempt hair. Many a times, I had tried to find out if he was going through some difficult time in his personal life but he would always ward off my questions and try focusing on his work. That day when I saw him entering my office, I knew he had given up and had finally decided to seek my help.

OSHO Philosophy

OSHO Philosophy

OSHO teachings

OSHO teachings

We talked for about three hours and his problem, which was more on a psychological level, came as a piece of surprise to me. It took him quite a while to open up and speak coherently, as he seemed to unravel the entwined threads of his complex thoughts, while he spoke. His problem apparently was none other than OSHO and his ideologies. Poor guy had been reading the OSHO scriptures for more than a year and the ideology set forth therein, had left him completely disillusioned and disinterested in life. He was almost on the verge of renouncing the world and joining the ‘cult’. He revealed to me that his parents had been terribly worried on his account, in view of the decision he had taken for leaving the house. That was my first encounter with OSHO and, with due respect, it wasn’t that pleasant.

OSHO Backdrop

From the inputs he gave me, I could gather that he was deeply inspired by the teachings of OSHO and the ‘path’ that was prescribed, therein, for ‘enlightenment’. He handed over to me, some books and magazines relating to this subject, and the material provided was good enough to keep me engrossed for another couple of hours. I was amazed to read the content which lent me an opportunity to have a sneak peek in the ‘self created’ world of OSHO. For the first time in my life, it had been brought to my knowledge that there existed a man who, so confidently and blatantly, denied the existence of God. To propagate ‘anti-God’ philosophy needed some kind of nerve and this man (OSHO) seemed to have surpassed all reasonable standards of ‘courage’ and ‘individual perception’. I tried digging deep into his background in order to find out the source and the reason behind his unconventional and unrealistic thought process.

Millions of OSHO devotees

Millions of OSHO devotees

Originally named Rajneesh, he was born in a Jain family and it is said that he had attained enlightenment at the age of 21 after which he spent most of his time in preaching devotees from India and Europe. His preaching relating to sexual freedom and contentment probably made him the most controversial spiritualist of his time. He had developed a new form of active meditation which was termed as ‘Active Meditation’. This required a person to start with strenuous physical activity (with an express permission to indulge in unlimited sex) followed by silence and celebration. He had developed such a mechanism with an idea of helping an individual to overcome repression, minimize his personal inhibitions and finally slip into a state of emptiness, which he called ‘enlightened state’. On attaining this state of mind, a person was supposed to have no past, no present, no future, no ego, no self, no attachment and on top of it …no mind. His ‘no mind’ theory was really intriguing. It slowly dawned on me why those hundreds and thousands of people, who called themselves OSHO devotees, blindly followed him and did as they were told; possibly it was the magic of ‘no mind’ philosophy. I strongly felt that those devotees, who left their families in lurch, had probably been brain washed to do so. What else could explain the phenomenon, wherein people, blindfold agreed with the theories propelled by a protagonist, and left their families under the belief that the near and dear ones were the root cause of all the suffering in their lives? Ironically, OSHO on one hand advocated the concept of ‘no family’ and on the other, subtly suggested that living amidst a group of unknown people could bring joy and contentment in the lives of suffering individuals. This explained why two stalwarts of Indian film industry (Vinod Khanna and Sanjay Dutt) renounced their career at a time when they were at the top and had no reasons to quit. More surprising was the fact that both of them eventually came back to the world which they had renounced, but after wasting precious 10-15 years of their lives. It forced me to think if OSHO cult was any better than an asylum for the weak, irresponsible and sex freaks.

Against marriage but not in favor of celibacy either

Path to enlightenment

Path to enlightenment

Where does your path lead to?

The most amazing fact which surfaced during my research on OSHO was that the people who joined the cult and lived as a part of that group for some years, had no clue what they were heading towards. I had a chance to come face to face in conversation with a man who was heralded as an ‘enlightened soul’ by the OSHO community. I spent almost an hour with him but he did not have answers to even the simplest of my questions. Possibly he was sitting in front of me with ‘no mind’ of his own. Trust me, I had to leave his place, totally disappointed and dissatisfied. What kind of spiritual path was this when the travelers / followers / seekers did not even know where they were going to or where they had come from? They seemed to live in an absolute vacuum. Perhaps that was the concept of enlightenment perceived by OSHO. Whatever said and done, I could not relate to such an ideology. Creating emptiness, in and around oneself could, in no way, be construed as enlightenment. In my terms, ‘enlightenment’ means ‘knowing’ rather than ‘not knowing’. It means ‘awareness’ rather than ‘ignorance’. Perhaps it’s an escapist attitude to find bliss in ignorance.

God does not exist

Osho Philosophy

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Seerat Kaur on April 27, 2017:

Clearly you have not heard osho's discourses well enough..your writing displays a very superficial order to understand osho, you have to delve deeper into your innermost being, which you clearly have not. So please dont make sweeping judgements based on your absolutely puny reserach..Osho like his name is a vast ocean and seeing 3 videos and reading a few pages of his book can teach you NOTHING.

Samarpan David on July 27, 2014:

Anyone interested in Osho as the world's greatest bookman can read his bio-bibliography (1931-1974), OSHO SOURCE BOOK, which has been a labor of love by a Danish librarian, compiled over a 25 year period and available free of charge at:

Many seem to know of Osho's life after 1974. His tireless work before 1974 seems less known. Osho is a genius. I am glad India has chosen to put the complete works of two of India's greats into the library of Parliament in Delhi. Those two greats are Gandhi and Osho.

bhalchandra Tikekar on June 06, 2014:


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