In a tumultuous world marked by religious conflicts and political power struggles, Osho Rajneesh emerges as a controversial yet influential mystic. Born Chandra Mohan Jain in 1931, he defies the conventional narrative by blending Eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism, with elements of post-Freudian psychoanalysis. Notably, Osho challenges societal norms, advocating for sexual liberation and condemning organized religion and politics as mechanisms of control.
Osho's critique of organized religion stems from his belief that it becomes ritualistic and loses vitality when it becomes stagnant. He asserts that true spirituality should be a personal journey towards self-realization and liberation, devoid of the power pursuits that often plague established religions throughout history.
Despite being labeled a "sex guru" due to his teachings on sexuality, Osho insists that his extensive body of work spans a diverse range of subjects beyond sex. His emphasis on transforming sexual energy through meditation rather than repression reflects his unique perspective on spirituality.
Osho's renowned meditation practice, "dynamic meditation," incorporates intense physical movement and stillness across five stages: breathing, catharsis, physical activity, silence, and celebration. This practice aims to cultivate inner growth, emotional catharsis, and increased self-awareness.
The controversial chapter in Osho's life unfolds with the establishment of the spiritual commune "Rajneeshpuram" in Oregon during the 1980s. This utopian experiment attracted both devoted followers and staunch critics, and its acquisition of a fleet of ninety-three Rolls Royce automobiles became a symbol of controversy. Osho defended this display as a strategic means of bridging the gap between his teachings and the world's materialistic desires.
Power struggles within the commune, notably involving Osho's former personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela, led to legal troubles and ethical questions about the commune's leadership. Despite maintaining distance from day-to-day affairs, Osho addressed the controversies, offering insights into power dynamics, human conditioning, and the challenges of communal living.
Returning to India in 1986, Osho continued guiding his followers through discourses, meditation sessions, and individual counselling. His teachings, spanning spirituality, philosophy, psychology, and human consciousness, attracted a diverse international following. Osho's Pune ashram became a global hub for seekers.
In his final years marked by declining health, Osho focused on imparting wisdom to his disciples. He passed away on January 19, 1990, leaving a legacy that challenges individuals to embrace their uniqueness, question established orders, and embark on a transformative journey towards self-realization, liberation, and the pursuit of peace.