4.0 Koregaon Park, Poona
4.1 Moving to Poona
4.2 The Making of a Buddhafield
Organizing the Ashram
4.3 Lao Tzu Library
4.4 Osho’s Reading
4.5 Discourses in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
4.6 Discourses in Buddha Hall. English
Listening to Osho in English
4.7 Discourses in Buddha Hall. Hindi
Listening to Osho in Hindi
4.8 Darshans in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
4.9 Reading Osho
4.10 Publishing Poona Editions
4.11 Audio-Visual Media. Photos
4.12 Books on Osho
Rajneesh Foundation Publications
Selected Later Publications
The Sound of Running Water
Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter
4.14 Satsang in Buddha Hall
4.15 Leaving for the United States
5.0 Rancho Rajneesh, Oregon
5.1 Moving to USA
The Castle in Montclair
5.2 Settling in Oregon
Cultivating and Constructing
Osho in Silence
Drive-by and Rolls-Royces
5.3 Library and Reading
Rajneesh International Meditation University (RIMU)
Academy of Rajneeshism
5.4 Discourses in Lao Tzu House
5.5 Discourses in Rajneesh Mandir
5.6 Press Interviews in Jesus Grove
5.7 Reading and Listening to Osho
5.9 Audio-Visual Media. Photos
5.10 Books on Osho
Rajneesh Foundation Publications
This very Place the Lotus Paradise
The Book of Rajneeshism
The Rajneesh Newsletter & Rajneesh Times
5.12 Organizational Upheaval
Politics and Crimes
5.13 Osho Arrested in Charlotte
Incarceration in Secrecy
Threats to Life
The Vatican Connection
5.14 Leaving for Delhi and the Himalayas
6.0 A World Odyssey
6.1 Returning to India and the Himalayas
6.2 Talks in Kulu Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Leaving for Nepal
6.3 Talks in Kathmandu, Nepal
6.4 Talks in Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Deportation from Greece
6.5 Passage Denied to Europe
Switzerland, Sweden, England, Ireland
6.6 Talks in Punta del Este, Uruguay
6.7 Onwards to Jamaica and Lisbon, Portugal
Resolutions and Legal Acts
Visa Applications Stalled
6.8 Returning to Bombay, India
6.9 Talks in Sumila, Bombay
6.10 Publishing and Editing
6.11 Books on Osho
6.13 Returning to Poona
“After enlightenment there is no biography.
After enlightenment all is silence
– because all is eternity.”
The Perfect Master (1980). Vol I, p. 2
This second volume of Osho Source Book has been edited by me, but it is written by . others.
The first volume (2014) is a work of honest and rigorous scholarship based on own research and covering the early phases of Osho’s life and work, that is, the days when Osho was speaking in Hindi and his listeners were mostly Indians.
Now in the second volume we’re compiling a variety of sources in the main languages covering the years after the arrival of Westerners and their later writings, and the phases where Osho also became notoriously exposed in the media with their catching headlines.
The main structure of Osho Source Book is as follows:
Volume 1 (1931-1974) Gadarwara. Jabalpur. Bombay
Volume 2 (1974-1990) Poona One. Oregon. World Tour. Poona Two.
Volume 3 (1931-1990) References. Bibliography. Sources.
The purpose of the present volume is to make up a portrait of Osho and his work composed as a colourful mosaic. As you’ll see, several narrators and sources will supplement each other and in common contribute to a full presentation of considerable validity. Testimonies are fragments in a structured composition with ever changing narratives making room for divergent experiences of ‘what really happened’. Narrators’ accounts are in this way continuously supplementing and correcting each other in a rather dynamic process without further comments or assessments from the editor.
What you are about to read here we may probably call something quite new and previously unheard of in the history of publishing. Few, if any, historical figures have been the subject matter of more than 500 biographies and scholarly papers published within the first 25 years after their passing. See References for this claim. Apparently Winston Churchill comes in as a fine second at the moment, but do be aware that any documented bid with a name surpassing this record will be rewarded with a bottle of French champagne in the mail.
Accordingly, this volume of Osho Source Book may be the first time in the history of mapping human consciousness – be it in terms of world religions or spiritual paths – that it has been possible to present a compilation drawn on such an abundance of multi-faceted sources. Hopefully to encourage further research or simply for readers and sannyasins to revive a stroll down memory lane and days gone by.
This Prelude you’re reading is to complement the Introduction in Volume I. There you’ll find Scope and Limitations of the project, and in Research Method is explained how the presented sources have been retrieved through years of work in the field as well as at the desk.
The overall structure of the digital Osho Source Book aims to be similar to the well known linear format of a printed book with volumes, parts and the placement of front and back matters. The reader may benefit from knowing that this production is complementary to what you’ll find at www.sannyas.wiki, a meticulously constructed database presentation containing a wealth of source material with useful search facilities.
Osho has said that only the name Osho has to be used to indicate toward him. So we’ve used this final choice of name in general, whereas his naming in all quotations are respected throughout. As might be expected, all quotations are from the authorized first editions of his discourses and darshan diaries. See also Poona Two and Appendix on name change and later editing.
It is perhaps not irrelevant to remember that to a great extent Osho’s books are to be read and understood in an intertextual universe. In his discourses he is presenting canonical texts from almost all major religions outside the movement itself and embedding these texts in a new context, thereby superseding the tradition upon which they are built. He is making the sacred texts, now with his textual commentary, accessible to his listeners and in his eclectic work he is opening up and adding new dimensions to the sutras.
In Volume I, Osho’s work was discussed in the broader context of other spiritual paths. This theme will not be continued in this volume, where we will rather see another matter come to the fore, Osho’s bibliophilia, which some might even call bibliomania. This was an aspect of his life to which he devoted amazing and prodigious attention and resources, as you’ll see when strolling through the pages.
In an interview in 1998 Devageet, Osho’s dentist, recalls a visit to Osho’s room and start of the dental sessions where Osho talks on enlightened masters’ biography:
“He gestured for us to sit at his feet and immediately started talking about the great sanghas (communes) of Gautam Buddha and Mahavira, saying that whatever the world knows of these masters has come through the notes of their disciples. He explained how the disciples of Buddha got together immediately after his death to recollect his sayings and compiled 140 volumes. He told us about the method used with Mahavira, where a bunch of disciples remembered individually, then came together and remembered collectively, and, when it was unanimous, they wrote it down.” (Osho Times International. February 1998, pp. 21-23)
Osho talks further on biography and biographers:
“Hence, no enlightened man has ever written anything. But disciples have taken notes. All the literature that exists in the name of enlightened people is nothing but disciples’ notes. The problem becomes more and more complicated because the disciple is writing something which he does not understand. He loves the master, he has fallen into a deep love affair, but he does not understand the mystery of the master. He is under his magical influence, but he does not know his secret. Unless he knows his own secret he will never know the secret of the master, because they are not two things.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 2, p. 25.
Osho’s own works are available in print and on many audio/visual and digital platforms. This cannot be said of the numerous secondary works published on Osho’s life and work. They are mostly in paper format and considerably more difficult to access than Osho’s own spoken words. They will need a world-wide library search to be retrieved from the shelves of libraries. Due to inconsistency in library material selection policy and intellectual freedom, a number of primary and secondary sources may be difficult to retrieve globally also in national and academic libraries. The largest public holdings of Osho books are at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in the Netherlands, followed by the Library of Congress in the United States, Deutsche Bibliothek in Germany and the British Library in London.
The excerpts in Osho Source Book from biographies and personal life stories naturally only constitute a minor part of the comprehensive narratives in the works by the quoted authors. I must beg those readers, who remain dissatisfied with the brief extracts given here, to refer to the published editions. My suggestion to you is this: Try to get hold of your favourite ones offered at www: Read them, and you’ll get a much more varied and juicy understanding of what it was like being part of a mystery school compared to the more limited and bookish scope Osho Source Book is intended to offer. These editions are getting still harder to find, as copies used by several readers end up being totally worn-out. Most titles are by now out of print with a few re-issued in updated digital editions. Many of these works are presented in the sections with Books on Osho and they are all listed in References.
The unfortunately reality, however, is that also many of Osho’s old booklets and magazines in Hindi have been tampered with by natural causes: obscured by patches of dampness and mildew; or consumed by worms, ants and weevils. In the climate of India these sources cease to exist at an alarming rate, making future research ever more challenging.
The necessity of documenting what was happening around Osho has been commented upon at several occasions. On the back jacket to Maneesha’s book Osho says about her, “I have found a better recorder than Ramkrishna has ever found in Vivekananda, or even Socrates has found in Plato. […] “When we are all gone, her collections will be remembered for centuries.” (Forman 1989) ..this quote in red..
Maneeesha on writing for posterity
“I want all that happened to Osho and his work to be recorded, as precisely as possible, for posterity. I thought that if I don’t do this now, maybe it will never get done.” (www.maneeshajames.com)
In Brecher’s book ‘Passage to America’ Khushwant Singh in his foreword stresses the urgency of recording in due time. Excerpt:
“It is therefore all the more important that while our memories are still fresh and many of us can recall Osho’s words, a fair objective account of what he stood for and what he did should be recorded for posterity. Also all that we know of the diabolical conspiracy to besmirch his reputation and that of his following must be told. This has been done by Max Brecher whose academic background of philosophy, psychology and comparative literature, his years in the film industry and creative writing make him eminently suited to set the record straight about one of the greatest personalities of our times.” (Brecher 1993, p. vi)
What Khuswant Singh is pointing at, is Osho’s lethal incarceration in the USA, the refusal of his entry to 21 democratic countries during the World Tour, and the abysmal media coverage of these events. Not only was unintended misleading misinformation distributed but also intentionally misleading disinformation during his World Tour.
Meaning and intention are the main parameters for understanding the terms information, misinformation and disinformation, where our tendency is to seek out information, however unreliable, that appears to confirm any point of view we’re already having. Within the management of the movement around Osho we have seen also fabrication of forged documents, e.g. attesting to the adoption of Osho as a child, put forward by his secretary in Oregon to strengthen their case. And it did indeed fulfil its purpose as it made the INS recognize Osho as a religious leader. Global religio-political segments have throughout history been playing their games in the field of dissemination of disinformation, with the distribution of fake news recently (2018) taking these maneuvers to hitherto unseen levels.
Accordingly, a critical and methodical study into the validity and reliability of the source material presented in Osho Source Book might turn out to be fairly beneficial for a coherent understanding of Osho’s work.
The editor’s selection of sources is intended to be unbiased, but still it’s got to be somewhat subjective for there really is no such thing as a correct selection of items for inclusion. Yet, it has been done to the best of my ability as a scholar. Sources are not one, but multidimensional and comprehensive of many contradictions, and some proper triangulation of sources might be a great idea whenever needed. And the credibility of defectors’ reports are certainly not to be rejected a priori, as pointed out by Urban and further commented upon by Wallis:
“More recently, however, authors have begun to challenge this wholesale rejection of ex-members’ accounts. After all, all sources of information – including current members – have particular biases, commitments, and axes to grind, so it is not immediately evident that an ex-member’s account would necessarily be any more biased than that of a member in good standing.” (Urban 2015, p. 21)
“The lessons to be gathered are evident enough. New religious movements must be carefully understood before they are explained. The consequence of observing a new religious sect at a distance or largely through reports of hostile defectors whose justifications for their former behaviour have become thoroughly systematised in a rhetoric of ‘mental kidnapping’, ‘hypnosis’, or ‘brainwashing’, is to render the activity of the movement mechanical and sinister; to dehumanise the behaviour of its adherents; and to de-rationalise the beliefs – torn from context – to which they display such commitment. Understanding such movements is often likely to involve (but yet need not entail) having some sympathy with them. Explanation and analysis of any enduringly worthwhile kind are likely to emerge from close and direct observation, particularly when this is subjected to frequent comparative reference, rather than from the mechanical application of standardised ‘instruments’.” (Wallis 1986, p. 143)
In Osho Source Book we’re using the terms primary and secondary sources in a way deviating from common historical criticism. We do not use these terms to point towards the chronological order of sources in question, but rather in accordance with a library science terminology to distinguish between source material coming from Osho himself and other material originating from secondary sources, written or verbatim. So the two quotations above we’re calling secondary and the following one from Osho primary:
“So sometimes you may find my facts not collaborating with the fashionable theory, but don’t think I am lying. I have never lied in my life. If I have lied, I have lied only as a device to help you to come to truth.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 5, p. 198.
The following scale of biases in secondary writings on Osho is based on Wallis’ typology presented in Introduction (Vol I) with its internalist/externalist and non-hostile/hostile dimensions:
Carter has in accordance with Wallis’ line of work introduced his own terminology consisting of four specific categories, each with different strengths and weaknesses when their accounts are used as sources in a study: Believers, Apostates, Ethnographers, and Opponents. The contribution of all these groups of respondents are needed when in research a variety of data sources are to be used, each of them with their differing perspective and interest. (Carter 1998, p. 222)
We may benefit from keeping a firm eye on the terms truth, myths, rumours and facts when we make use of the source material. I have to admit my eyebrows are sometimes raised a bit, like when reading in a biography of Osho I saw a friend of mine, a sannyasin and student at a university in Denmark, suddenly being quoted as a professor of psychology at the very same institution to put more credit to his laudatory praise of Osho. Or when obvious misunderstandings keep on being reprinted long after they have been nullified and recognized as rumours only. Like the idea that the number of volumes in Osho Lao Tzu Library is making it the largest private library worldwide as proclaimed in an entry in Guinness Book of Records.
Investigating, I found no record mentioned, which led me contact the source behind the claim only to hear it was nothing but a rumour, a rumour which keeps lingering on also in later editions of her book. Which shows us that authors sometimes are going to great length and obvious exaggeration in writing their tributes to Osho. I dare say that a mentioning in Guinness Book of Records certainly is no golden stamp in my universe. A fair and reliable account is more than enough. Truth will prevail anyway, and there’s no need for launching more fake news to this end.
Academic research into Osho’s work really took off during his years in Oregon, where we saw numerous field studies and a comprehensive publishing of research papers and dissertations. See further on this issue in: Part Five: Oregon. Research Papers. The incentives behind this surge may be found in the Ranch’s attempt to establish an Utopian experimental community in accordance with the American Utopian tradition, and in the comprehensive rural experiment with its recycling and ecological landscaping carried out on a scale unheard of anywhere in the States – or anywhere on a global level for that matter. We’re here talking about the early 1980s, four decades or more before the present state of this planet and the unavoidable understanding of what is at stake.
Media coverage was extensive too, as far as the Oregon phase was concerned. See further in: Part Five: Oregon. Press Coverage. What happened in the wake of the meltdown of the Ranch and the subsequent World Tour may be labelled nothing but a general media ban on Osho. Political powers in subtle ways simply wanted him written out of history, and this silent rejection was to be extended also far into his last phase in Poona Two and even beyond that.
Compared to the first volume of Osho Source Book this second volume will hold, as mentioned, less contextual material, except for some occasional underlining of the political and religious establishments and their ways. We may have to draw our attention to the fact that two of the most ardent opponents to Osho, US General Attorney Edwin Meese III and Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Cardinal Ratzinger) both had to leave office due to irregularities. Pope Benedict XVI abdicated as first pope to do so since 1415. For a broader perspective on Osho’s global role we’ll refer to Urban and other academic writers mentioned in References.
“The Osho-Rajneesh movement, I would suggest, is perhaps best understood as a uniquely postnational, late capitalist, and postmodern movement, one that reflects – in almost exaggerated form – several broader global currents of the last several decades.” (Urban 2015, p. 10)
One note of caution is in order on the issue of autobiographical accounts of spiritual teachers, where Osho’s point of view already has been discussed above and in Introduction (Vol I):
“The problem is whether to answer the question or the questioner. If you answer the question and do not care at all about the questioner, your answer is going to be bookish; it has no spirit in it. It is not a personal communion.
This is one of the reasons that none of the enlightened masters of the world has ever written a book. It cannot be just coincidence. They were immensely educated, cultured people, most of them from royal families – very rich, very talented. But what happened when they became enlightened was that they always chose the spoken word. And the reason is this: they didn’t want to answer the questions – in a book you can answer only the questions – they wanted to answer the questioner.
In a book you cannot take care of the questioner. You don’t know who is going to read it – it cannot have a personal intimacy. It is not addressed to anyone in particular; it is unaddressed – just to whomsoever it may concern.
None of the enlightened masters has ever written a single word. Consistently, in different parts of the world, in different times, they have always fallen upon the spoken word, because the spoken word has a warmth. The written word is cold, dead; the spoken word is breathing, it has a heartbeat.” Light on the Path. Talks in the Himalayas (1988). Chapter 33, p. 335. Kathmandu, 07.02.1986.
“In Zen, there is not much to a biography. What is important is that the man has become an eternal flame, that the man has achieved his ultimate potential, that his blue lotus has blossomed. Who cares about dates of birth, about your parents? Those become negligible. That’s why in the East there is nothing like Western history.
Western history is factual; it take notes of all the facts from birth to death. Eastern history does not bother about physical appearance; it takes care of your spiritual growth. Those are the real progress points.” Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990). Chapter 1, p. 7.
This may be why Hindu autobiographies did not develop until early twentieth century. This type of literature challenged the Indian socio-centricity and the biographical books’ self-centeredness was contradictory to Hindu ideals of selfhood and spiritual greatness. Not unexpectedly, the first autobiography in India wasn’t published until 1918 by the Bengali intellectual Pandit Sivanath who wrote under dire Christian influence and encouragement.
Although a copious academic literature is already discussing the interrelation between science and spirituality, we’ll end up this Prelude with a few remarks on this highly relevant issue.
Science is capable of explaining only parts of reality, yet it claims to cover it all. That’s why a spiritual frame of reference is needed too, with its myths, mystery belief systems and philosophy all supplementing the scientific approach.
Let us remember the world is also a spiritual world. Human experiences occur which cannot be described by science and our usual model of understanding based on rationalism and positivism. Spirituality is also here for us to acknowledge, as measuring and weighing cannot cover all phenomena on this planet. That’s why we need to be inclusive and accept that other understandings exist next to our own view of the outside world, and there is no need of projecting our own understanding of the world onto other human beings. That has already been tried long enough.
The real world religion is indeed not the great monotheistic religions, which are only a few thousand years old, but rather it is animism and spirituality. The belief that the world is alive, that all aspects of it have a spiritual dimension, and that mysticism in its broader sense is one technique to engage in this living world of energy. As demonstrated for ages by shamans, seers and masters since humans first walked this earth.
One of Osho’s well-known biographers finishes her book ‘On the Edge’ claiming that Osho is generally considered to be one of the most controversial spiritual leaders of this age and the greatest spiritual master since Buddha. (Punya 2015, p. 423)
For those who wish to have a closer look into the validity of these statements, a rather comprehensive collection of source material is hereby presented.