Osho is unique among enlightened beings, totally devoid of any religious traditions, philosophies, and movements of the past.
Osho’s arrival has ushered in the beginning of a New Man, a New World, a New Age, incorporating both spiritualism and materialism.
Born on December 11, 1931, in Kuchwara, a small village in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India, Osho was known by the name of Rajneesh Chandra Mohan. Stories of His early years describe Him as independent and rebellious, already then questioning all social, religious and philosophical beliefs. With his sharp and clear intellect, He firmly exposed the stupidity and hypocrisy displayed by pundits, religious priests, saints and holy monks who were leading the masses without any self experience.
On March 21, 1953, at the age of twenty one, Osho attained enlightenment, the state of ultimate awakening. During those days he was a student of philosophy at a college at Jabalpur. He continued his studies after His enlightenment and in 1957 received His M.A. in Philosophy from Saugar University. Subsequently, he was appointed as a professor of Philosophy at Jabalpur University.
During the nine years of his teaching at the university he traveled extensively throughout India. A multitude of sixty to seventy thousand people used to be present during his public discourses. He created a wave of spiritual awakening across the country through his presence and his voice.
Osho resigned from the university in 1966 in order to share his spiritual insights with humanity at large, to totally involve himself in the creation of a New Man, which he calls “Zorba the Buddha”, one who knows how to totally enjoy the material life of Zorba – as in the character of Zorba the Greek, and who is at the same time capable of entering into deep meditation as the Buddha. The New Man is one who is rich both materially and spiritually, an undivided, total human being.
In 1970, Osho moved to Mumbai. He began to devise new meditation methods and emphasized the importance of meditation to give true meaning to life. By now also seekers from the West who were frustrated with mere material success and eager to learn and understand the deeper secrets of life began to find out about him.
In September 1970, during a meditation camp held in Manali, in the Himalayas, he began initiating seekers into Neo-Sannyas. From this time on he became known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
In March 1974, Osho left Mumbai and arrived in Pune where the Shree Rajneesh Ashram was established. From that time on his impact and work spread worldwide.
During his daily discourses held at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Pune Osho would touch upon every aspect of human consciousness. He spoke on all enlightened beings of the past, such as Buddha, Mahaveer, Krishna, and Jesus. In his thousands of discourses he brought into light insights from India’s galaxy of enlightened beings such as Kabeer, Meera, and Adi Shankaracharya, and spoke on the works of Socrates, Pythagoras and many others of the eminent western thinkers.
There is hardly any dimension of life which remained unaddressed by Osho. He unraveled in detail the hidden secrets from the traditions of Yoga, Tantra, Tao, Zen, Hassids, and the Sufis.
In discourses given to his disciples and seekers He spoke on an immense variety of subjects such as: politics, art, science, psychology, philosophy, education, society, poverty, population explosion, ecology, as well as on the possibility of nuclear war and the threat of AIDS to the whole world.
His penetrating and revolutionary insights are available in hundreds of his discourses in Hindi and English which are published in more than 650 books and have been translated into more than one hundred languages.
Many of the leading Indian musicians, dancers, writers and poets often came to visit and perform at what was now called the Osho International Commune in Pune. They were amazed to see the utopian dream having taken such concrete form at the Commune.
On December 26, 1988, Osho removed ‘Bhagwan’ from his name and on February 27, 1989, at the time of evening discourse in Buddha Hall, his thousands of disciples and lovers unanimously decided to address their beloved Master as ‘Osho’. He accepted.
On January 19, 1990, Osho left his body. The urn containing his flowers was brought to Chuang Tzu Auditorium and was placed in a marble Samadhi.
These words are inscribed in golden letters on his Samadhi:
NEVER BORN, NEVER DIED
ONLY VISITED THIS PLANET EARTH
11 DECEMBER 1931-19 JANUARY 1990
Osho’s work continues and his teachings and meditations are widespread, fulfilling his vision.