• Home
  • Osho
  • Sannyas Belgium
  • More Masters
  • Links
  • Contact

Osho Biography

1. Youth - Enlightenment - University studies: 1931-1957

osho youth picsBorn in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh, India on December 11, 1931, Osho says of his parents, "I had chosen this couple for their love, their intimacy, their almost one-ness." Growing in an atmosphere of tremendous love, freedom and respect, Osho was an intuitive and adventurous child with the knack of penetrating to the very heart of a situation. Exploring life fearlessly and intensely, he insisted on experiencing life for himself rather than acquiring beliefs or knowledge given by others. "My childhood was certainly golden - not a symbol, absolutely golden; not poetically but literally, factually... Those years were unforgettable."
When he was seven years old, his maternal grandfather died with his head in Osho′s lap as they traveled in the back of a bullock cart on the long journey to reach the nearest doctor. This had a profound effect on his inner life, provoking in him a determination to discover that which is deathless.
"I learned much in that moment of his silence...," Osho said later, "I started on a new search, a new pilgrimage." This, and other stories in Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, give rich insight into Osho′s early years, and the innocent spirit of the flame of rebellion and playfulness he brought to every endeavor in his life.
At the age of twenty-one, Osho became enlightened. "For many lives I had been working on myself, struggling, doing whatsoever can be done - and nothing was happening. The very effort was a barrier... Not that one can reach without seeking. Seeking is needed, but then comes a point when seeking has to be dropped... And that day the search stopped... it started happening. A new energy arose... It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air - and I was thinking it was very far away. And it was so near..." A full account of his enlightenment can be found in his book The Discipline of Transcendence.
After his enlightenment on March 21, 1953, Osho graduated from the University of Saugar with first class honors in philosophy. While a student, he won the All-India Debating Championship. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Jabalpur for nine years.


2. Travel all over India - lecturing, teaching: 1957 - 1974

osho acharyaOsho (then called Acharya Rajneesh) traveled throughout India giving talks, challenging religious leaders in public debate and meeting people from all walks of life. He read extensively, everything he could find to broaden his understanding of the belief systems and psychology of contemporary man.
Osho had now begun to develop his unique dynamic meditation.
Modern man, he said, was so burdened with the outmoded traditions of the past and the anxieties of modern-day living that he must go through a deep cleansing process before he could hope to discover the thought-less, relaxed state of meditation. He began to hold meditation camps around India, giving talks to the participants and personally conducting sessions of the meditations he had developed.
In 1962 Osho opens his first Meditations Centres known as Jivan Jagruti Kendras (Life Awakening Centres), and names his movement Jivan Jagruti Andolan (Life Awakening Movement). As of 1967 he started to initiate people into sannyas.
In 1969 followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi invited Osho to talk to them. This was the first occasion on which Osho addressed a western audience, and the first time he talked publicly at length in English.
In 1970 Osho decided to stop traveling and settled in Bombay where he continued to give regular public lectures. By the following year, he had begun to attract a small Western following, and these early Westerners enjoyed personal and close relationships with their master. Among their number was a shy twenty-two-year-old English woman named Christine Wolff. Taking on the name Ma Yoga Vivek, she became Osho′s constant companion.


3. Bhagwan in Poona 1: 1974 - 1981

osho poona 1For more than thirty-five years Osho worked directly with people who came to him, sharing his vision of a "New Man" aka "Zorba the Buddha", and inspiring them to experiment with a life based in meditation. Bridging the ancient truths of simpler times with the current reality of man, he created numerous meditation techniques which give seekers an avenue to experience the ultimate.
Seeing that the complexities of life needed to be addressed, he worked closely with many prominent therapists from the West to create new therapies based in meditation.
Terence Stamp is one of the many who took sannyas from Osho in 1976.
Slowly Osho builds up what he calls a Buddhafield.


4. Rajneeshpuram: 1981 - 1985

osho rajneeshpuramAfter his initial work in India, Osho was invited to America where a bold communal experiment to translate his vision into a living reality began. Ma Anand Sheela, Osho′s private secretary at the time, and a few other women were in charge. Thousands of Osho′s disciples poured their love into a barren piece of land and began to transform it into a flowering oasis in the desert.
But Osho′s presence and the success of the commune revealed the hypocrisies inherent in the beliefs and prejudices of the current age, particularly in the religious and political establishment. The antagonism of these groups toward Osho and the commune mounted, and after only four years, after a short stay in an American prison, he was forced to leave America.
This is described in a book by Max Brecher called A Passage to America. Read more about it here.
The inhabitants of a nearby little town, called Antelope, were glad that Osho and his people were gone, as is clear from a plaque at the base of the Antelope post office flagpole, to mark that time.
The inscription reads:
"Dedicated to those of this community who, through the Rajneesh invasion and occupation of 1981-85, remained, resisted, and remembered."

During the Rajneeshpuram period, the gachchamis were introduced.


osho worldtour

5. Worldtour: 1985 - 1986

Osho then began a World Tour. He is refused entry by 21 countries. In the midst of this campaign of worldwide persecution orchestrated by the US Government, Osho responds with characteristic humor and uncompromising honesty, publicly challenging his persecutors and at the same time showering his love unconditionally, giving some of his most intimate talks to disciples who gathered around him wherever he went.


6. Osho in Poona 2: 1986 - 1990

Finally, Osho returned to Poona, India, giving talks twice a day. Thousands of seekers from around the world came together again to be in the presence of this rare buddha and mystic, and a new commune grew around him. It was during this time that Osho announced that he did not want to be called Bhagwan again: "Enough is enough! The joke is over." In these years of his final discourses, Osho gradually began to withdraw from public activities. His fragile health often prevented him from giving discourses, and the periods of his absence grew longer. He introduced a new element into his discourses, guiding his audience into a three-stage meditation at the end of each sitting. Eventually he delivered his last discourse series, answering questions and commenting on Zen sutras.osho poona 2
After his failing health had caused him to stop giving discourses, a message came that the name Rajneesh was also being dropped. Many of his disciples had already collectively decided to call him Osho. He has explained that the word ′Osho′ is derived from William James′ expression ′oceanic experience′ which means dissolving into the ocean. "Oceanic describes the experience," says Osho, "but what about the experiencer? For that we use the word ′Osho′."
In the following months, whenever his health permitted, he would appear in the evening to sit with his disciples and friends in a meditation of music and silence, after which he would retire to his room while the assembly watched one of his videotaped discourses. These sittings together with Osho are called White Robe Brotherhood Meetings.
In the last year of his life, Osho organised an administration of his closest disciples to take care of his work after he had left his body. Osho himself chose the 21 members of this inner circle who could contribute in the administrative work and who had different areas of expertise. This committee was to make decisions unanimously. Members of the inner circle were for life, only to be replaced after death by the remaining members. After a while, the required unanimity making quick action impossible according to some, a group of 6 people formed within the inner circle, called "The Præsidium", which, over time, became decisive in policy making; this led to struggles within the inner circle whereupon many members left. Nowadays only three people take care of the management of Osho′s legacy, three people of non-Indian descent, which contributes to disagreements between leading Indian and non-Indian disciples.


7. Poona 3: 1990 - ... I Leave You My Dream

osho samadhiOn 19 January 1990 Osho leaves his body after a long sickness due to his poisoning by the US- Government in 1985. His body was brought to Buddha Hall the same evening so that his Sannyasins could give him a send off. Later on his body was carried to the burning ghat at the river near the ashram and cremated in a large celebration with all his Sannyasins.
Just a few weeks before his demise, Osho was asked what would happen to his work when he was gone.

He said:

"My trust in existence is absolute. If there is any truth in what I am saying, it will survive. The people who remain interested in my work will be simply carrying the torch, but not imposing anything on anyone. I will remain a source of inspiration to my people. I want them to grow on their own - qualities like love, around which no church can be created, like awareness, which is nobody′s monopoly; like celebration, rejoicing, and remaining fresh, childlike eyes. I want my people to know themselves, not to be according to someone else. And the way is in."

He also said:

"If you have loved me, I will live with you forever. In your love, I will live. If you have loved me, my body will disappear but I cannot die for you...
Even if I am gone I know you will search for me. Yes, I can trust you will hunt for me in every stone and flower, in every eye and star... And I can promise you one thing: if you hunt for me, you will find me - in every star and every eye - because if you have really loved a Master, you have moved into eternity with him. The relationship is not of time; it is timeless.
There is going to be no death. My body will disappear, your body will disappear - that will not make any change. If the disappearance of the body makes any change, it simply shows that love had not happened.
Love is something beyond the body. Bodies come and go, love remains. Love has eternity in it - timelessness, deathlessness."

(Osho - The Divine Melody #10)

Sitting with the Master

From the supplement to the Osho Times International of February 1 1990

A few days before Osho left his body, he said he would like his people all over the world to sit in meditation each evening at 7.00 pm (their local time). He suggested that people first watch a video of the meeting of White Robe Brotherhood to see exactly what has been happening during the evening meetings in Poona. From then on, they can sit in silent meditation with their eyes closed, with the video providing the period of music and silence.

Osho once mentioned in Nansen: The Point of Departure #10:

I want to remind you
that whether I am here or not
the celebration has to continue.
If I am not here
then it has to be more intense
and it has to spread around the world
Celebration is my religion
Love is my message
Silence is my truth

A modern day sannyas celebration

At Osho Afroz Meditation center

General Notes:

Osho and Astrology

Another name for Vedic, Hindu or Indian astrology is Jyotish. "Jyoti" means light or flame and "Ish" means God. Jyotish thus means Lord of the light.

Thanks to satellite images of Kuchwada on the internet it is now possible to determine the exact co-ordinates of this little village. Before the internet, one had to locate Kuchwada on a map and had therefore only approximate co-ordinates to calculate Osho′s horoscope.

Osho′s horoscope in Sannyas-Magazin of 5/1980 was calculated with a time of birth of 17:13 hrs, with Gadarwara as birthplace and co-ordinates of Bhopal. Prasad, a sannyasin-astrologer, once mentioned that at first he had used 17:30 hrs as time of birth, this according to what Osho′s mother remembered. Osho′s time of birth has never been officially recorded. At the Ranch, Prasad once asked Osho′s mother again, urging her to try and be as precise as possible. She then said Osho′s birthtime to be 17:08 hrs.

So, we now accurately have: Osho, 11.12.1931, 17:08 hrs (LMT = GMT+5:13:24)
Kuchwada / Madhya Pradesh, India, 23N09, 78E21

osho jyotish chart osho mahabote chart

The left Vedic horoscope is shown with a diamond-like design typical for present North-Indian astrology (a design also prominent in medieval astrology in the West, by the way). The rising sign is Taurus and signs are counted counterclockwise. Note the cluster of planets in the eighth house in Sagittarius.

The right horoscope is Osho′s Burmese horoscope, also called Mahabote. Osho was born "Mohan Chandra Rajneesh". "Mohan Chandra" means "Full Moon"; "Rajneesh" means "Lord of the Night" from Sanskrit "rajani" "night" and "isha" "lord, ruler". This may be reflected in the Moon of Osho′s Mahabote horoscope being on top in the "leader house".

More on Mahabote (Burmese astrology)