1931 - 1953 Early Years
December 11,1931: Osho is born in
Kuchwada, a small village in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India.
He is the eldest of eleven children of a Jaina cloth
merchant. Stories of His early years describe Him as independent and rebellious
as a child, questioning all social, religious and philosophical beliefs. As a
youth He experiments with meditation techniques.
March 21, 1953: Osho becomes enlightened at the age of
twenty-one, while majoring in philosophy at D.N. Jain college in
1953 - 1956
1956: Osho receives His M.A. from the
University of Sagar with First Class Honors in Philosophy.
He is the All-India Debating Champion and Gold Medal
winner in His graduating class.
1957-1966 University Professor and Public
1957: Osho is appointed as a professor at the Sanskrit
College in Raipur.
1958: He is appointed Professor of Philosophy at the
University of Jabalpur, where He taught until 1966.
A powerful and passionate debater, He also travels
widely in India, speaking to large audiences and challenging orthodox religious
leaders in public debates.
1966: After nine years of teaching, He leaves the
university to devote Himself entirely to the raising of human
consciousness. On a regular basis, He begins to address gatherings
20,000 to 50,000 in the open-air maidans of Indias major cities. Four
times a year He conducts intense ten-day meditation camps.
In 1970, the 14th of April, He introduces His
revolutionary meditation technique, dynamic Meditation, which begins with a period
of uninhibited movement and catharsis, followed by a period of silence and
stillness. Since then this meditation technique has been used by
psychotherapists, medical doctors, teachers and other professionals around the
1969 - 1974 Mumbai Years
Late 1960s: His Hindi talks become
available in English translations.
1970: In July, 1970, He moves to Mumbai, where He lives
1970: Osho - at this time called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
- begins to initiate seekers into Neo-Sannyas or discipleship, a path of
commitment to self-exploration and meditation which does not involve renouncing
the world or anything else. Oshos understanding of Sannyasis a radical departure from
the traditional Eastern viewpoint. For Him it is not the material
world that needs to be renounced but our past and the conditionings
and belief systems that each generation imposes on the next. He continues to
conduct meditation camps at Mount Abu in Rajasthan but stops accepting
invitations to speak throughout the country. He devotes his energies entirely
to the rapidly expanding group of sannyasins around Him.
At this time, the
first Westerners begin to arrive and to be initiated into
Neo-Sannyas. Among them are leading psychotherapists from the human
potential movement in Europe and America, seeking the next step in their own
inner growth. With Osho they experience new, original meditation techniques for
contemporary man, synthesizing the wisdom of the East with the science of
1974 - 1981
During these seven years He gives a 90 minutes
discourse nearly every morning, alternating every month between
Hindi and English. His discourses offer insights into all the major spiritual
paths, including Yoga, Zen, Taoism, Tantra and Sufism. He also
speaks on Gautam Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, and other mystics. These discourses
have been collected into over 600 volumes and translated into 50
In the evenings, during these years, He answers
questions on personal matters such as love, jealousy, meditation. These
darshans are compiled in 64 darshan diaries of which 40 are
The commune that arose around Osho at this time offers
a wide variety of
therapy groups which combine Eastern meditation techniques with
Western psychotherapy. Therapists from all over the world are attracted and by
1980 the international community gained a reputation as the worlds
finest growth and therapy center. One hundred thousand people
pass through it's
gates each year.
1981: He develops a degenerative back condition. In
March 1981, after giving daily discourses for nearly 15 years, Osho begins a
three-year period of self-imposed public silence. In view of the possible need for
emergency surgery, and on the recommendation of His personal doctors, He
travels to the U.S. This same year, His American
disciples purchase a 64,000-acre ranch in Oregon and invite Him to
visit. He eventually agrees to stay in the U.S. and allows an application for
permanent residence to be filed on His behalf.
- 1985 Rajneeshpuram
A model agricultural
communerises from the ruins of the central Oregonian high desert.
Thousands of overgrazed and economically unviable acres are reclaimed. The city
of Rajneeshpuram is incorporated and eventually provides services to 5,000 residents. Annual summer festivals are
held which draw 15,000 visitors from all over the world. Very quickly,
Rajneeshpuram becomes the largest and most controversial spiritual community
ever pioneered in America.
Opposition to the commune and new city keeps pace with
its success. Responding to the anti-cult fervor
which pervades all levels of American societyduring the Reagan years, local,
state and federal politicians make inflammatory speeches against the
Rajneeshees. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Federal
Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Treasury Department, and the Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms Agency (ATF) are only a few of the
agenciesspending millions of dollars in taxpayers money while
communewith unwarranted and fruitless investigations. Similar
costly campaigns are conducted in Oregon.
October 1984: Osho ends three and one half years of
July 1985: He resumes His public discourses each
morning to thousands of seekers gathered in a two-acre meditation hall.
Sept. - Oct. 1985: The Oregon Commune is
September 14: Oshos personal secretary Ma Anand
Sheela and several members of the communes management suddenly leave, and
a whole pattern of illegal acts they have committed - including poisoning,
arson, wiretapping, and attempted murder - are exposed. Osho invites law
enforcement officials to investigate Sheelas crimes. The authorities,
however, see the investigation as a golden opportunity to destroy the commune
October 23: A U.S. federal grand jury in Portland
secretly indicts Osho and 7 others on relatively minor charges of immigration
October 28: Without warrants, federal and local
officials arrest at gun point Osho and others in
Charlotte, North Carolina. While the others are released, He is held without
bail for twelve days. A five-hour return plane trip to Oregon takes four days.
En route, Osho is held incommunicado and forced to register under the
pseudonym, David Washington, in the Oklahoma County jail. Subsequent events
indicate that it is probable that He was poisoned with the heavy metal thallium
while in that jail and the El Reno Federal Penitentiary.
November: Emotions and publicity swell around
Oshos immigration case. Fearing for His life and the well-being of
sannyasins in volatile Oregon, attorneys agree to an Alford Plea on two out of
35 of the original charges against Him. According to the rules of the plea, the
defendant maintains innocence while saying that the prosecution could have
convicted him. Osho and His attorneys maintain His innocence in the court. He
is fined $400,000 and is deported from America.
Among others, U.S. Attorney in Portland, Charles Turner, publicly concedes that
the government was intent on destroying Rajneeshpuram.
1985 - 1986 World
December 1985: The Indian government
attempts to isolate Him by canceling the visas issued to his personal household
January-February: He travels to Kathmandu, Nepal and
speaks twice daily for the next two months. In February, the Nepalese
government refuses visas for His visitors and closest attendants. He leaves
Nepal and embarks on a world tour.
February-March: At His first stop, Greece, he is
granted a 30-day tourist visa. But after only 18 days, on March 5, Greek police
forcibly break into the house where He is staying, arrest Him at gun point, and
deport him. Greek media reports indicate government and church pressure
provoked the police intervention
During the following two weeks He visits or asks
permission to visit 17 countries in Europe and the Americas. All of these
countries either refuse to grant Him a visitors visa or revoke His visa
upon His arrival, and force Him to leave. Some refuse even landing permission
for His plane.
March-June: On March 19 He
travels to Uruguay. On May 14th the government has scheduled a press conference
to announce that He will be granted permanent residence in Uruguay.
Uruguays President Sanguinetti later admits that he received a telephone
call from Washington, D.C. the night before the press conference. He is told
that if Osho is allowed to stay in Uruguay, the six billion dollar debt Uruguay
owes to the U.S. will be due immediately and no further loans will be granted.
Osho is downloaded to leave Uruguay on June 18th.
June-July: During the next month He is deported from
both Jamaica and Portugal. In all, 21 countries had denied Him entry or deported Him
after arrival. On July 29,1986, He returns to Mumbai, India.
1987 - 1989
He returns to the ashram in Pune, India, which is renamed Rajneeshdham. The
Indian government resumes its policy of denying visas to known friends of
July 1988: Osho begins, for the first time in 14 years,
to personally lead the meditation at
the end of each evenings discourse. He also introduces a
revolutionary new meditation technique called The Mystic
January-February 1989: He stops using the name
"Bhagwan," retaining only the name Rajneesh. However, His disciples
ask to call Him Osho and He accepts this form of address. Osho
explains that His name is derived from William James word
oceanic which means dissolving into the ocean. Oceanic describes
the experience, He says, but what about the experiencer? For that we use the
word Osho. At the same time, He came to find out that
Osho has also been used historically in the Far East, meaning
"The Blessed One, on Whom the Sky Showers Flowers."
March-June 1989: Osho is resting to recover from the
effects of the poisoning, which by now are strongly influencing His
July 1989: His health is getting better and He makes
two appearances for silent darshans during the Festival, now renamed Osho Full
August 1989: Osho begins to make daily appearances in
Gautama the Buddha Auditorium for evening darshan. He inaugurates a special
group of white-robed sannyasins called the "Osho White Robe
Brotherhood."All sannyasins and non-sannyasins attending the
evening darshans are asked to wear white robes.
September 1989: Osho drops the name
"Rajneesh," signifying His complete discontinuity from the past. He
is known simply as "Osho," and the ashram is renamed "Osho
Osho leaves His
January 1990: During the second week
in January, Oshos body becomes noticeably weaker. On January 18, He is so
physically weak that He is unable to come to Gautama the Buddha Auditorium. On
January 19, His pulse becomes irregular. When His doctor inquires whether they
should prepare for cardiac resuscitation, Osho says, "No, just let me go.
Existence decides its timing." He leaves His body at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. His
body is brought to Gautama the Buddha Auditorium for a celebration, and is then
carried to the burning ghats for cremation. Two days later, His ashes are
brought to Osho Commune International and placed in His samadhi in Chuang Tzu
Auditorium with the inscription:
Only Visited This Planet Earth Between
11 December 1931 - 19 January 1990