250 Osho Quotes on Love, Life and Meditation

Osho! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B4%D9%88.jpg)

Osho! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B4%D9%88.jpg)

Here are 250 Osho quotes on love, life, meditation, marriage and more. Osho, also known as Bhagwan Rajneesh was a spiritual master and enlightened being who created quite a wave in the twentieth century. You might also be interested in some of the Osho Books available as free downloads.

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Osho Quotes on Love

Be like an alone peak high in the sky. Why should you hanker to belong? You are not a thing! Things belong!

Relationship is the need of those who cannot be alone. Two alone persons relate, communicate, commune, and yet they remain alone.

It is a strange experience, that those who have left me have always left places for a better quality of people. I have never been a loser.

I love this world because it is imperfect. It is imperfect, and that’s why it is growing; if it was perfect it would have been dead.

Wherever you are afraid, try to explore, and you will find death hiding somewhere behind. All fear is of death. Death is the only fear source.

Take life easily, lovingly, playfully, non-seriously. Seriousness is a disease, the greatest disease of the soul and playfulness the greatest health.

Never ask, “Who is my real friend?” Ask, “Am I a real friend to somebody?” That is the right question. Always be concerned with yourself.

It does not matter if you are a rose or a lotus or a marigold. What matters is that you are flowering.

Discover yourself, otherwise you have to depend on other people’s opinions who don’t know themselves.

Just get out of your own way.

Only idiots are not controversial.

It is because nobody has been teaching you about hate; hence, hate has remained pure, unadulterated. When a man hatesyou, you can trust that he hates you.

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Mind is the illusion that which is not but appears, and appears so much that you think that you are the mind.

Respect your uniqueness, and drop comparison. Relax into your being.

No, I don’t want to give my people sticks. I want to give them eyes.

Love cannot be taught, it can only be caught.

Love is happy when it is able to give something. The ego is happy when it is able to take something.

The knowledgeable person lives with a question mark ‘?’ and the man of awe and wonder lives with an exclamation mark.

A serious person can never be innocent, and one who is innocent can never be serious.

Man is born only as a potential. He can become a thorn for himself and for others, he can also become a flower for himself and for others.

Desire disappears as you become more and more aware. When awareness is one hundred percent, there is no desire at all.

Hell is our creation, and we create hell by trying to do the impossible. Heaven is our nature, it is our spontaneity. It is where we always are.

Real love is not an escape from loneliness, real love is an overflowing aloneness. One is so happy in being alone that one would like to share.

When you are different the whole world is different. It is not a question of creating a different world. It is only a ques of creating a different you.

That which makes you miserable is the only sin. That which takes you away from yourself is the only thing to be avoided.

Don´t be unnecessarily burdened by the past. Go on closing the chapters that you have read; there is no need to go back again and again.

Accept yourself as you are. And that is the most difficult thing in the world, because it goes against your training, education, your culture.

Sharing is the most precious religious experience. Sharing is good.

You can go on changing the outer for lives and you will never be satisfied. Unless the inner changes, the outer can never be perfect.

It is imperfect, and that’s why it is growing; if it was perfect it would have been dead. Growth is possible only if there is imperfection.

Accept yourself as you are. And that is the most difficult thing in the world, because it goes against your training, education, your culture.

Life exists without rules; games cannot exist without rules. Only false religion has rules, because false religion is a game.

If you work without love, you are working like a slave. When you work with love, you work like an emperor. Your work is your joy, your work is your dance.

The only authentic responsibility is towards your own potential. Values have not to be imposed on you. They should grow with your awareness, in you.

Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized.

A comfortable, convenient life is not a real life – the more comfortable, the less alive. The most comfortable life is in the grave.

Love is authentic only when it gives freedom. Love is true only when it respects the other person’s individuality, his privacy.

Man is always exploited through fear.

If whatsoever you have been living can be conveyed by words, that means you have not lived at all.

It’s not a question of learning much. On the contrary. It’s a question of unlearning much.

If you love yourself, you love others. If you hate yourself, you hate others. In relationship with others, it is only you mirrored.

If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.

Bravery does not mean being fearless. It means to be full of fear but still not being dominated by it.

God is a person; godliness is a quality. You cannot become God, but you can be godly.

When your ego is no more, only then will you know who you are.

To avoid pain, they avoid pleasure. To avoid death, they avoid life.

Anywhere everywhere! Anything anyhow! just dance!

The word devil is very beautiful, if you read it backwards it becomes lived. That which is lived becomes divine and that which is not lived becomes the devil.

Osho Quotes on Life

In relationship, be blissful, in aloneness be aware and they will help each other, like two wings of a bird.

Nobody else can destroy you except you; nobody else can save you except you. You are the Judas and you are the Jesus.

The less the head, the more the wound will heal. No head there is no wound. Live a headless life. Move as a total being, and accept things.

When you really laugh for those few moments you are in a deep meditative state. Thinking stops. It is impossible to laugh and think together.

Mystic's Musings

Your real being only flowers with unconditional love. Ambition is against love. Anything that is against love is against you and your real life.

Don’t be bothered by perfection. Replace the word ‘Perfection’ by ‘Totality. Totality will give you a different dimension.

NOW is the only reality. All else is either memory or imagination.

Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.

The only thing that matters in life, is your own opinion about yourself.

All your knowledge is dust. Knowing is your purity, knowledge is dust.

Don’t be angry at life. It is not life that is frustrating you, it is you who are not listening to life.

Life is not logic, life is not philosophy. Life is a dance, a song, a celebration! It is more like love and less like logic.

Celebration is my attitude, unconditional to what life brings.

Life in itself is so beautiful that to ask the question of the meaning of life is simply nonsense.

Life is a mirror, it reflects your face. Be friendly, and all of life will reflect friendliness.

Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind;don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet.

Fools are more healthy then the so-called wise. Thy live in the moment and they know that thy are fools, so thy are not worried about what others think about them.

Don’t be serious about seriousness. Laugh about it, be a little foolish. Don’t condemn foolishness; it has its own beauties.

It cannot be called freedom, a freedom which can choose only the right and not the wrong; then that is not freedom.

Only silence communicates the truth as it is.

Be. Don’t try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.

If you love yourself, you will be surprised: others will love you. Nobody loves a person who does not love himself.

Lovers have known sometimes what saints have not known.

Love is not manageable, it is simply something that happens, and the moment you try to manage it everything misfire.

Your honesty, Your love, Your compassion should come from your inner being, not from teachings and scriptures.

If you clean the floor with love, you have done an invisible painting. Live each moment in such delight that it gives you something inner.

Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you also.

That’s why children look so beautiful because they are yet full of hope, full of dreams, and they have not yet known frustration.

You will come closer and closer to perfection, but you will never be perfect. Perfection is not the way of existence. Growth is the way.

Don’t analyze, celebrate it.

NOW is the only reality – all else is either memory or imagination.

The Mind: a beautiful servant, a dangerous master.

Whatsoever you hide goes on growing, and whatsoever you expose, if it is wrong it disappears, evaporates in the sun, and if it is right it is nourished.

Love brings freedom. Loyalty brings slavery.

Misery comes the moment you become clinging, attached. The moment you put conditions on life.

Die each moment so that you are renewed each moment.

Instead of pleasing, learn the art of happiness.

Happiness is an art that one has to learn. It has nothing to do with your doing or not doing.

Friendship is a relationship, friendliness is a state of your being. You are simply friendly; to whom, that is not the point. . .

Anger transformed becomes compassion. Sex transformed becomes prayer. Greed transformed becomes sharing.

Life is a mystery, and there is nothing to explain everything is just open, it is in front of you. Encounter it! Meet it! Be courageous!

Sadness comes, joy comes, and everything passes by. What remains always is the witness. The witness is beyond all polarities.

Freedom is our most precious treasure. Don’t lose it for anything. . . .

Forget about getting, simply give; and I guarantee you, you will get much.

Sadhguru Quotes

If you cannot love yourself, you don’t know even the taste of love or what love means.

Freedom is a ladder: one side of the ladder reaches hell, the other side touches heaven. It is the same ladder; the choice is yours.

Drop the idea that attachment and love are one thing. They are enemies. It is attachment that destroys all love.

Humanity will never be religious unless all organized religions disappear and religion becomes an individual commitment towards existence.

If jealousy disappears and love still remains, then you have something solid in your life which is worth having.

Giving love is the real beautiful experience, because then you are an emperor. Getting love is a very small experience. It is the experience of beggar.

Take it easy, and remember “Easy is Right.”

Love needs two things: it has to be rooted in freedom and it has to know the art of trust.

Possessiveness destroys love. And they should not be possessed, because that again destroys your love.

Nobody has the power to take two steps together; you can take only one step at a time.

Life begins where fear ends.

You are a great problem-creator. Just understand this and suddenly problems disappear.

This very moment you can drop all problems because they are your creation.

Life is absolutely balanced between the positive and the negative. Now it is your choice which side you want to be – in heaven or in hell.

The ego is an island in the ocean of Hell. You want to get rid of the Hell but you don’t want to get rid of that island. Then there is trouble.

Never sacrifice your life for anything! Sacrifice everything for life! Life is the ultimate goal.

People say love is blind because they do not know what love is. I say unto you, only love has eyes; other than love, everything is blind.

Love is not manageable, it is simply something that happens, and the moment you try to manage, everything misfires.

You don’t have any problems. Only this much has to be understood. This very moment you can drop all problems because they are your creations.

By ‘Love’ people mean a certain kind of monopoly understanding a simple fact: that the moment you possess a living being you have killed him.

You can become happy just by deciding to be happy.

A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.

We remain unnecessarily worried. All worries are futile because that which is going to happen is going to happen.

Love is the ultimate, the end. You love for love’s own sake. It is not a means to anything else, it is its own end.

Love is just like a breeze: it comes, but you should not close your doors to keep the breeze inside.

The only thing that matters in life is your own opinion about yourself, nobody can destroy your dignity then, because it is not dependent on anybody’s opinion.

I would like marriage to disappear completely from the world, and with marriage, divorce will disappear.

People are not things, you cannot have ownership.

Eyes which have lost their tears have lost their most beautiful, their most glorious treasure.

Never be ashamed of your tears. Be proud that you are still natural. Be proud that you can express the inexpressible through your tears.

One day you will disappear on a funeral pyre – just into nothingness, as smoke. Don’t get attached to anything.

You are creating your own hell.

Miscellaneous Osho Quotes

Be aware – deep down you are really attached to your negative emotions. They are your ego.

Love is a wine; you have to taste it, you have to drink it, you have to become drunk with it, only then do you know what it is.

When it comes to deciding between your love and your truth, truth has to be the decisive factor.

Intelligence never grows by imitation: Intelligence grows by experimentation. Intelligence grows by taking challenges.

The society is ill;individuals are victims. Society needs therapy;individuals simply need love. The society is the patient and needs hospitalization.

It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love, it matters only that you love.

If you cannot enjoy your own company, who else is going to enjoy it?

The person who can be happy alone is really an individual. If your happiness depends on the others. You are slave. You are yet not free. You are in bondage.

Suicide leads nowhere, it simply enters your consciousness into another womb of a lower kind, because you could not manage to live on a higher level.

Your marriage is a subtle politics of domination. Your fatherhood, motherhood, is a subtle politics.

Life has no meaning. Rejoice! It has no meaning. Dance, sing, enjoy! It has no meaning. You need not be serious. It is a cosmic joke.

All beliefs suffocate and all beliefs help you not to be really alive. They deaden your being.

Life is a purposeless play, a play of infinite forces-beautiful if you don’t have an achiever’s mind, ugly if you have ambition to become something.

Don’t go on with borrowed knowledge. Otherwise you will forget that you are ignorant, and you will remain ignorant.

It is better to be ignorant; at least the ignorance is yours. It is authentic, it is real, sincere and honest!

If you live with love, through love, you will live a great life, because love makes everything great.

When I say that you are Gods and Goddesses I mean that your possibility is infinite, your potentiality is infinite.

One who thinks in terms of superiority will always remain inferior because these are two aspects of the same coin.

The person who trusts can relax into existence. The person who cannot trust remains tense, remains anxious, afraid.

I don’t want followers, obedient people. I want intelligent friends, fellow travelers.

Your heaven and your happiness is always somewhere else; it is never where you are. Real happiness is always HERE, it is always NOW.

Be a drunkard, drunk with life, with the wine of existence. Don’t remain sober. The sober person remains dead.

That which makes you miserable is the only sin. That which takes you away from yourself is the only thing to be avoided.

Don´t be unnecessarily burdened by the past. Go on closing the chapters that you have read; there is no need to go back again and again.

Whenever you plan for love, whenever deliberateness enters into it it becomes phony and false.

Love is true only when it is spontaneous, unplanned, unpracticed, uncultivated, un-thought.

Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy.

Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving.

The people who ask what is the meaning of life are the people who have missed life, who are alive because they are still breathing; otherwise they are dead.

Life in itself is so beautiful that to ask the question of the meaning of life is simply nonsense.

If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.

Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by God’s decree.

A woman is one of the most beautiful phenomena in the world; not to be compared with anything else. The woman is the masterpiece of god.

The person who enjoys his life has no desire to possess, because he knows the real things of life which are worth enjoying cannot be purchased.

Drop comparing and life is really beautiful. Drop comparing and you can enjoy life to the full.

This world is just a game. Winners lose and losers win the game is still the same. This life is just a play. Those who say dont know and those who know dont say.

More Osho Quotes!

The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.

Doing brings ego. Ego is the shadow of action. And there is only one thing that is not-doing, and that is awareness, watchfulness.

Love is a bird and it loves to be free. It needs the whole sky to grow.

Love is true only when it does not interfere in the privacy of the other person. It respects his individuality, his privacy.

Once I was on a journey and someone asked me which word in a man’s vocabulary was the most valuable. My reply was, Love.

Life is not a tension anywhere except in the minds of humanity.

The ultimate state of love is freedom, absolute freedom, and any relationship that destroys freedom is not worthwhile.

My enlightenment has freed me from everything, including enlightenment.

There has never been a person like you before, there is nobody else like you right now in the whole world, and there will never be anybody like you.

Life is a mirror, it reflects your face. Be friendly, and all of life will reflect friendliness.

You just listen to your own heart – that is your only teacher. In the real journey of life, your own intuition is your only teacher.

The person who can be happy alone is really an individual. If your happiness depends on the other, you are a slave; you are not yet free, you are in bondage.

A child needs immense privacy, as much as possible, a maximum of privacy, so that he can develop his individuality. (Here are a few more good parenting tips)

In relationship be blissful, in alone-ness be aware, and they will help each other, like two wings of a bird.

We have to change this world by celebrating, by dancing, by singing, by music, by meditation, by love, not by struggle.

Remember it is not only you who are seeking truth – truth is also seeking you.

Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you also.

Never try to change a person you love, because the very effort to change says that you love half, and the other half of the person is not accepted.

If you are sad you are wrong; if you are joyful you are right.

Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.

Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet.

Accept the fact that we are strangers; that we don´t know who you are, that you don´t know who I am. I myself don´t know who I am, so how can you know?

Once you have tasted the juice of the present, you don’t care about dangers. Once you are in tune with life then nothing matter. Life all there is.

People love freedom – but nobody wants responsibility. And they come together, they are inseparable.

Real love makes you more of an individual. It does not efface your individuality, it gives you individuality. Real love is very respectful.

Tomorrow-drop that word from your vocabulary! Tomorrow does not exist, it cannot exist: it is not in the nature of things. Only this day exists.

Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost.

Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created.

Paradise is within you, in your state of no-mind. And hell is also within you, in your very mind.

Love is ultimate, the highest health, because love makes one whole. When you love a master by and by you completely forgot about love.

God cannot be an object. It is deepest depth of your own being. How can you see it.

“Never speak of me in the past tense”. My presence here will be many times greater without the burden of my tortured body.

Just see how much respect God has paid to you. You are a masterpiece – unrepeatable, incomparable, utterly unique.

If you remain always far, love will die. If you remain always near, love will die. Love can survive only in a continuous flowing relationship.

If love can not keep you together, nothing else can keep you together. And if love cannot keep you together, than anything that can keep you together is dangerous.

Lovers are mirrors to each other. Love makes you aware of your original face.

Perfect people don’t exist. And perfect people, if they existed, would be very boring. It is imperfection that keeps life interesting.

If you have no conditions you can enjoy life infinitely. If you have conditions, because of them you become incapable.

Misery comes the moment you become clinging, attached. The moment you put conditions on life.

Easy is right. Begin right and you are easy. . . . Easy is right means natural is right, effortlessness is right, egolessness is right.

Love means the art of being with others. Meditation means the art of being with yourself. Both are two aspects of the same coin.

I’ll never make any resolutions. Drop all resolutions! Let life be a natural spontaneity. The only golden rule is that there are no golden rules.

Resolution is struggle. Resolution is ego. Resolution is saying, “I cannot live spontaneously. “.

I resolve never to make any resolutions because all resolutions are restrictions for the future. All resolutions are imprisonments.

Unless you love yourself, you can’t love anybody. Be selfish.

Still More Osho Quotes!

Knowledge is borrowed; knowing is yours, your own. It is authentic knowledge is information, knowing is transformation.

Love lives in waiting – dies in meeting, becomes ordinary.

To love means to drop the ego, to drop yourself. Love means not to BE.

The existence loves you, otherwise you would not be here. Relax into your being, you are cherished by the whole.

People say love is blind because they do not know what love is, I say unto you, only love has eyes; other than love everything is blind.

The greatest freedom is to be free of one’s own mind.

Happiness is not conditional; nothing is needed to be happy. Only to be alive is needed — and that you are, you already are.

To possess anything is to be possessed by it. The more you possess, the more slavery you create around yourself.

Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind.

Love knows how to forgive. Love cannot hurt and cannot be violent.

Don’t pay much attention to fear, because that is dangerous. If you pay much attention to fear you are feeding it, and it will grow.

Love never dies through separation, never. If it dies at all, it dies through too much togetherness; never by separation.

U bring a beautiful prince;in the morning he becomes a frog! Every prince turns into a frog in the end. And then you are puzzled: What went wrong.

Whatsoever you possess will not give you contentment. The mind, the ego, will always feel unfulfilled.

To create guilt, all that you need is a very simple thing: start calling mistakes, errors sins. They are simply mistakes, human.

Your politicians, priests, parents, they all are guilt-creators, because that is the only way that you can be controlled and manipulated.

Life is not given to you to murder, to destroy. Life has been given to you to create, and to rejoice, and to celebrate.

Don’t expect, and there will be no frustration. Frustration is just a shadow which follows expectation.

To choose is to choose a prison; to choose is to choose a bondage. To choose is wrong, to be choiceless is to be right.

You cannot think about love. Either you can love, or you cannot, but you cannot think about it.

Don’t go on with borrowed knowledge. Otherwise you will forget that you are ignorant, and you will remain ignorant.

It is better to be ignorant; at least the ignorance is yours. It is authentic, it is real, sincere and honest!

Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost.

You have to drop all your defenses, only then is intimacy possible. We are all hiding a thousand and one things, not only from others but from ourselves.

Whoever may have died right now, each death is your death, because each death is a reminder that you are not going to be here forever.

It is always death that comes before your desires are fulfilled. Even if you live for a thousand years your desires are not going to be fulfilled.

A borrowed truth is the greatest lie in the world. Truth can only be true when it is based on your own experience, utterly your own experience.

Only people suffering from inferiority complex want to impress others. A really superior person never compares himself with anybody else.

Respect your life. Out of that respect you will start respecting life in others.

Dropping the mask and bringing out your original face is the whole alchemy of meditation.

Don’t postpone anything beautiful for tomorrow. Live intensely, live totally, here and now.

Your honesty, your love, your compassion should come from your inner being, not from teachings and scriptures.

Love brings freedom. Loyalty brings slavery.

I am not anti-life as other religions are. I am absolutely for life, and life in its essence means love.

These are the only two real emotions and love. If you don’t love, you will be in fear. If you are in fear, you cannot love. If you love, fear is impossible.

The Last of the Osho Quotes!

Love in itself, or just having a relationship with someone, is not going to give you happiness, unless you bring happiness with you.

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Osho’s Biography

Bhagwan Shree Osho, was also known as Rajneesh, or simply as Osho. He was born Chandra Mohan Jain in Kuchwada, a small village in Raisen district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Central India, on Decembr 11, 1931. A professor of philosophy, he gave several public talks and won the hearts of many throughout India. He attained Mahasamadhi on January 19, 1990, in his ashram in Pune, in Maharashtra, India.

From 1958 to 1966, Osho, who went by the name of Rajneesh, was a Master of Arts in philosophy, and served as a professor of philosophy in the University of Jabalpur in the city of Jabalpur. In 1966, he left this post and began his tour of India, giving public talks at several places as a spiritual teacher. Throughout India, he conducted several meditation camps, and it was only in the 1970s that he settled down somewhat in the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Pune. He had earlier been based off his apartment in Mumbai, or Bombay as it was known then.

According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Religion, which analyzed Osho’s draw among seekers, “Osho’s synthesis of spirituality with personal-growth psychology attracted significant numbers of Westerners, many in midlife transition. Sannyasins often received new names signifying their spiritual rebirth. These sannyasins were known as new or neo-sannyasins; they renounced living in either the past or the future, but emphatically did not renounce material or sexual indulgence. He developed unique meditations, many involving intense, emotionally cleansing activity preceding stillness.”

Before his samadhi, Osho pointedly made a move towards getting people to take responsibility for their own cleansing. He created meditative therapies so that people could take their personal and spiritual growth into their own hands.

Even today, meditation is an important part of all true Osho followers’ lives. These meditations are quite popular in schools, colleges, corporations, and wellness centers. Unfortunately, too many see Osho’s offerings as philosophy. The Gale Encyclopedia again: “Osho’s philosophical approach blends Western and Eastern traditions, with special emphasis on Zen Buddhism. Important themes include dropping the ego and its conditioned beliefs and integrating the material and the spiritual. The ideal human is Zorba the Buddha, a consummate being combining Buddha’s spiritual focus with Zorba’s life-embracing traits.”

Osho did not offer philosophy, just methods and techniques to experience life in its fullest. Indeed, this is the cornerstone of Buddha or even Zen. Unfortunately, too much study and scholarship have labeled these phenomenal mystical processes into philosophies to be read and understood.

Controversies Around Osho

A major reason that Osho was controversial in India and indeed the West, was his advocacy of sexual freedom and exploration. For example, note how Lonely Planet’s India Survival Guide from the 1980s, talks about him. This is in fact one of the more taciturn and unbiased reviews. “With India’s great importance as a religious center it’s no wonder that so many people embark on some sort of spiritual quest while they’re there. There are all sorts of places and all sorts of gurus. One of the best known would have to be Bhagwan Rajneesh and his orange folk but he has deserted Pune for greener pastures in Oregon. USA. The Pune ashram continues but on a much diminished scale.

Although Pune has a number of points of interest and can be conveniently visited if you’re heading from Bombay to Aurangabad (for Ajanta and Ellora) or to Goa, its major attraction to western visitors was the Shree Rajneesh Ashram The ashram became so well known that it was even included on the city bus tour, where, in a superb reversal of roles, Indians flocked to view westerners. Osho. however, has now shifted his ashram to Oregon in the USA and the Pune ashram is a mere shadow of its former self.

Although Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh has shifted to the US, his ashram still continues in Koregaon Park, a relatively would be three or four thousand of his followers at a time in Pune, about a thousand of whom actually lived at the ashram. In all 90% or more of his Pune followers were westerners. The ashram is clean, neat and modern, with cool touches, like signs suggesting that you don’t waste time queuing for mail, rent your own mailbox’.

Osho is one of the most popular of India’s ‘export gurus’ and, quite probably, the most controversial. His followers are also highly visible since every Osho follower is always clad in orange from head to toe and wears a picture of their guru on a wooden bead chain around their neck.

Osho’s approach to the guru business has caused controversy from the start. It’s a curious blend of Indian mysticism and Californian pop-psychology. You don’t just meditate – you do ‘dynamic meditation’. Hyped up tales of tantric sexual rites have also fuelled the controversy and tabloid papers in the West are always happy to run a headline with ‘Sex Guru’ in it. Whatever the pros and cons, his followers all seem pretty convinced of his abilities, but nowadays you’ll find them in Oshoville, Oregon rather than Pune, Maharashtra.”

However, the greatest international controversy developed in the United States when he settled at the Big Muddy Ranch in central Oregon. From the summer of 1981 until the late fall of 1985, several thousand sannyasins labored to create the communal city of Oshopuram and a model agricultural collective. Their dream disintegrated because of financial, legal, and political conflicts, and Osho embarked on a world tour before returning to Pune in 1987. Two years later he took the name Osho, which means dissolving into the totality of existence, or merging with all life.

Why Osho Isn’t As “Accepted” as Other Movements

Many of these guru-disciple movements, such as those of Osho, of Transcendental Meditation and of Balayogeshvar, the boy-saint of the 1960s, have their support and recruitment bases primarily outside India. The most important of them has been the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) whose members are commonly known as Hare Krishnas and described as the ‘only tribe permanently settled on airports’ on account of their fund-raising activities there. ISKCON has solid Hindu roots. Founded by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada (1896—1977), a Calcutta bullion merchant turned Vaishnava monk, the movement gained a strong foothold in North America in the 1960s. Within fifteen years of Bhaktivedanta’s arrival in New York, the organization had spread throughout the West as well as Japan, and then reentered India to an enthusiastic welcome. Its teachings and practice are firmly based on the Gaudiya Vaishnavism of Sri Chaitanya, a sixteenth century Bengali saint regarded as avatar of Krishna by his followers.

Osho’s offerings are however very different from ISKCON. Osho is a realized master, while Prabhupada was one who delivered the message of Chaitanya. A elevated soul, but not an enlightened one. While ISCKON has refused to compromise with western lifestyles, Osho’s movement was quite unlike this. The core of devotees do not live in tightly controlled monastic communes, as with ISCKON, though they are generally totally vegetarian and teetotal, but not necessarily remain celibate until marriage. With other institutions, marriage was usually arranged by the institution. Not so with Osho.

ISCKON has also built large shrines at the key sacred sites of Vaishnavism at Vrindavan, the legendary birthplace of Krishna in Uttar Pradesh, and at Navadvip, the early venue of Sri Chaitanya in West Bengal. Though this is not the case with Osho’s movement which was not an off-shoot of any other movement. ISKCON and even until recently, Sathya Sai Baba’s movements were well-respected in India, which is not the case with other foreign-based movements like Rajneeshism, ‘3 H O’ (that is, Healthy, Happy, Holy), the Sikhism-cum-Trantrism of Yogi Bhajan in California, and even Transcendental Meditation of Mahesh Yogi. To put all these movements in the same sentence as Osho is quite a stretch, but this was just to make point on how ISCKON has managed situations.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, Osho’s high visibility, Indians do not generally acknowledge that this is a successful and imaginative transplant of a movement which had lain dormant since the Sfi traditions began in India. The initially anti-scholastic Osho leadership now actively encourages the study of Osho’s teachings.

Though shared by all neo-Hindu movements, the combination of eclecticism and idiosyncratic representation of Osho is epitomized by the Radhasoami Satsang and the Meher Baba Mandali. The first has a strong and affluent following among Punjabis and other North Indians, as well as a western audience which has been increasing recently. The self-consciously idiosyncratic spelling of soami for swami, the wearing of the Sikh turban by the members of one of its two schismatic groups, the acceptance of the writings of five out of the ten Sikh gurus, and the monotheistic, anti-iconic doctrine culled from the Sikh scriptures and informed in part by regional forms of north Indian bhakti traditions, indicate its eclecticism as does its esoteric meditational technique of shabd (sound) and nam (the inward repetition of God’s name) in surat-shabad-yoga. The preceptors of the movement are seen as divine incarnations, through whose aid and mediation salvation can be attained.

Osho taught the arousal of the kundalini, the coiled-up mystical energy imagined inside the body and blended with the divine energy (shakti) visualized as female. He effected this awakening by shaktipat (the descent of shakti) through personal initiation of the first generation of his disciples. Osho knew English, so the larger part of his present-day following is not Indian. In general, therefore, Hindu revivalist reform movements, which stress rural and general social uplift, better living standards, female emancipation and economic progress, de-emphasize individual, contemplative, mystical involvement are doing better. Those, on the other hand, which stress the psycho-experimental dimension of yoga, including esoteric and at times tantric elements, and are normally found in urban settings, de-emphasize social and patriotic work and secular ideological involvement. At one extreme of this scale, we must list the Arya Samaj, and perhaps the Ramakrishna Mission, which are focused on reform and social uplift and which view individual mystical pursuit with some misgiving. At the other extreme we should note Sri Ramakrishna himself, and more recently the traditions created by Sri Aurobindo, Meher Baba, Osho, Muktananda and a large number of less-known teachers and their followings.

Osho Centers

Many consider Osho to be a controversial spiritual teacher. But his teachings have touched the lives of millions of Americans, Europeans, and Asians. Many thousands of these have sought to pursue the spiritual path in its fullness, and are called sannyasins, having been initiated by Osho into Sanyas. The spiritual movement is centered at the Osho Commune International in Pune, India, at 17 Koregaon Park, where it was first established in the early 1970s.There are Osho centers in more than fifty nations. In the United States, the largest are Osho Academy in Sedona, Arizona; Viha Meditation Center in Mill Valley, California; and Osho Padma Meditation Center in New York City.

Centers are independent, and unfortunately, there are some conflicts between these based on what they choose to emphasis. Turf wars seem to be the norm among these many administrative setups. It is sad that Osho did not take the necessary time to setup the organization properly, so that more could benefit from his grace as a Guru. The ashrams do have common bonds though, such as common Osho meditations and teachings.

The Osho Meditation Resort in Pune began as the Shree Rajneesh Ashram and continues as the movement’s heart, housing a multiversity offering myriad courses on spiritual growth, healing, creative arts, and intimate relationships. There are also meditation workshops and programs emphasizing meditative aspects of sport. Osho Meditation Resort is an international center where a core staff hosts thousands of visitors annually. Both sannyasins and other seekers visit the resort center in Pune, read some of the more than six hundred books that have been transcribed from Osho’s lectures or have been written about him, communicate on the Internet, gather to meditate throughout the world, or enroll in Osho-based counseling and personal growth training.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, there is discord within the movement between those who regard Osho’s general teachings and methods as of primary importance and those who put primary emphasis on Osho himself as an embodied charismatic individual. This is a major dispute that could lead to a segmentation in which new centers, without connection to the Pune headquarters, incorporate and spread Osho’s teachings. Such schism may result in either continued growth and spread of the system or attenuation of the movement and its teachings. It is unfortunate that such a thing is happening so close in time to the passing of the Master.


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