Considerations and Perspectives on Osho Source Book
Drawing on a vast array of sources, from Osho’s own talks to devotional biographies and recent scholarly literature, Osho Source Book examines the background, legacy and significance of Osho and his work.
The proliferation in English of works about Osho and translations of his talks over the past several decades has presented the interested reader browsing shelves of libraries, bookstores and web sites with a bewildering array of materials – some popular, some biased, some devotional and some scholarly. Since much of this literature approaches Osho from a limited or particular perspective, it is easy to come away with an incomplete or even distorted picture of Osho the teacher, the humanist and mystic visionary.
The digital Osho Source Book attempts to help you navigate the growing body of publications on Osho, casting light on the historical Osho but also the myths and traditions that developed around him, with his reception in the East and in the West. It hopes to give a bird’s-eye view of the mystic by providing a comprehensive primer to a serious contemplation of Osho’s life and talks, including the current state of knowledge about Osho, a bibliographical guide to works about him as well as his own writings, with sources to a historical overview of his life and influence, and also some suggestions for future avenues of research and investigations.
This digital book also presents a great deal of new information and sources to Osho’s life and work, especially from his childhood and early academic career. The general outline of Osho’s life has been recounted in many books, but rarely with any detail to the historical and social context. Many books about Osho have uncritically accepted or even deliberately perpetuated a legendary image of Osho. We have tried to rectify this by providing access to the pivotal sources in various languages, thus making the reader privy to the cruxes around which debates and controversies over his life revolve.
A hagiographical tradition grew up around Osho already from his early days in Jabalpur, Bombay and Poona One. The devotion and veneration for Osho in these hagiographers led them to write about him in a way that to some extend obscures our view of the historical person, but soon they were to be supplemented by more balanced but also hostile narratives.
Generally, works recounting the lives of mystics must be used judiciously, for the hagiographical tradition does not concern itself with historical accuracy and biographical facts. Osho Source Book makes a concerted effort that the reader in using the presented sources may distinguish the factually accurate and plausible from the legendary and mythical aspects in the biographical tradition of Osho. Truth, myths, rumors and facts are what we’re dealing with here. We may hopefully get a closer glimpse of the historical personage of Osho and some contextual detail about the religious and mystical circle in which he grew up, as during his childhood members of his family exercised a major influence over his life and the system of patronage in which he functioned and flourished. These early spiritual influences were to format Osho’s thinking throughout his lifetime.
The digital Osho Source Book is not conceived as a narrative to be read from beginning to end. Used as a reference work it rather enables the reader to select relevant sections and/or make searches in the various parts by using the tools presented in Colophon.
This may certainly not be the final and definitive presentation of Osho’s life and work, but we have tried to map the terrain that such a book should cover. Likewise, it is not an exhaustive study of all that has been said about Osho and all that he has meant to different people, but together the quotations and 8.0 References do chart in some depth the global reception history of his work. Osho Source Book is intended, then, as a kind of encyclopedia and manual for anyone interested in Osho’s life and his multifaceted work in general, as a mystic and a bookman both.