"Meditation must not be made into a
business." Acharya Rajneesh 1971
When I first
met Acharya Rajneesh at his Bombay apartment in December of 1970, he was
only 39 years old. With long beard and large dark eyes, he looked like
a painting of Lao-Tse come to life. Before meeting Rajneesh I had spent
time with a number of Eastern gurus without being satisfied with the
quality of their teachings. I wanted an enlightened guide who could
bridge the gap between East and West and reveal the true esoteric
secrets, without what I considered to be the excess baggage of Indian,
Tibetan, or Japanese culture. Rajneesh was the answer to my quest for
those deeper meanings. He described for me in vivid detail everything I
wanted to know about the inner worlds and he had the power of immense
being to back up his words. At 21 years old I was naive about life and
the nature of man and assumed that everything he said must be true.
on a high level of intelligence and his spiritual presence emanated from
his body like a soft light that healed all wounds. While sitting close
during a small gathering of friends, Rajneesh took me on a rapidly
vertical inner journey that almost seemed to push me out of my physical
body. His vast presence lifted everyone around him higher without the
slightest effort on their part. The days I spent at his Bombay
apartment were like days spent in heaven. He
had it all and he was giving it away for free!
possessed the astounding power of telepathy and direct energy
transmission, which he used nobly to bring comfort and inspiration to
his disciples. Many phony gurus have claimed to have mysterious
abilities, but Rajneesh had them for real. The young Acharya never bragged about
his powers. Those who came near soon learned of them through direct
contact with the miraculous. One or two amazing occult adventures was
all it took to turn doubting Western skepticism into awed admiration and
earlier I had meet another enlightened teacher known to the world as
Jiddu Krishnamurti. J. Krishnamurti could barely give a coherent
lecture and constantly scolded his audience by referring to their
"shoddy little minds." I loved his frankness and his words were true,
but his subtly cantankerous nature was not very helpful in transferring
his knowledge to others.
Krishnamurti speak was like eating a sandwich made of bread and sand. I
found the best way to enjoy his talks was to completely ignore his words
and quietly absorb his presence. Using that technique I would become so
expanded after a lecture that I could barely talk for hours afterwards.
J. Krishnamurti, while fully enlightened and uniquely lovable, will be
recorded in history as a teacher with very poor verbal communication
skills. Unlike the highly eloquent Rajneesh, however, Krishnamurti
never committed any crime, never pretended to be more than he was, and
never used other human beings selfishly.
Life is complex
and multilayered and my naive illusions about the phenomena of perfect
enlightenment faded with the years. It became clear that enlightened
people are as fallible as anyone. They are expanded human beings, not
perfect human beings, and they live and breathe with many of the same
faults and vulnerabilities we ordinary humans must endure.
Skeptics ask how I can claim that Rajneesh was enlightened given his
scandals and disastrous public image. I can only say that Rajneesh's
spiritual presence was identical to that of J. Krishnamurti, who was
recognized as enlightened by every high Tibetan Lama and
revered Hindu sage of the day. I do sympathize with the skeptics,
however. If I had not known Rajneesh personally, I would never believe
the envelope of enlightenment in both positive and negative directions.
He was the best of the best and the worst of the worst. He was a great
teacher in his early years, with innovative meditation techniques that
worked with dramatic power (see explanation and
warning about Osho's Dynamic
Meditation technique near the bottom of the page). Rajneesh lifted
thousands of seekers to higher levels of consciousness and detailed
Eastern religions and meditation techniques with luminous clarity.
false move. One grand error.
university professor Acharya Rajneesh suddenly changed his name to
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, I was dismayed. The famous enlightened sage
Ramana Maharshi was called Bhagwan by his disciples as a spontaneous
term of endearment. Rajneesh simply declared that everyone should start
calling him Bhagwan, a title which can mean anything from 'divine one'
to God. Rajneesh became irritated when I would politely correct his
mispronunciations of English words after his lectures, so I felt in no position to tell him that
I thought his new name was inappropriate and dishonest. That
change in name marked a turning point in Rajneesh's level of honesty and
was the first of many big lies to come.
in an ivory tower, rarely leaving his room unless to give a lecture, his
life experience cushioned by throngs of adoring devotees (see
photograph). His isolation became even more complete when he moved
from his small Bombay apartment to a large and luxurious estate in
Poona, India, in 1974. As most human beings who are treated as kings,
Rajneesh lost touch with the world of the common man. In his artificial
and insulated existence, Rajneesh made one fundamental error in judgment
which would destroy his teaching.
you tell them is true, but what I tell them (the useful lies) is good
for them." Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh 1975
calculated that the majority of the earth's population was on such a low
level of consciousness that they could not understand nor tolerate the
real truths. He thus decided on a policy of spreading seemingly
useful lies to bring inspiration to his disciples and, on occasion,
to stress his students in unique situations for their own personal
growth. This was his downfall and the prime reason he will be
remembered by most historians as just another phony guru, which he
undoubtedly was not.
Bhagwan Shree, Osho...all the empowering names taken by Rajneesh could
not cover up the fact that he was still a human being. He had ambitions
and desires, sexual and material, just like everyone else. All living
enlightened humans have desires. All enlightened men have had public
lives that we know about and all have had private lives that remained
secret. The vast majority of enlightened men do nothing but good for
the world. Only Rajneesh, to my knowledge, became a criminal in both
the legal and ethical sense of the word.
lost the ultimate existential truth of being. He only lost the ordinary
concept of truth that any normal adult can understand. He rationalized
his constant lying as "lefthanded Tantra," but that too was dishonest.
Rajneesh lied to save face, to avoid taking responsibility for his own
mistakes, and to gain personal power. Those lies had nothing to do with
Tantra or any selfless acts of kindness. What is real in this world is
fact and Rajneesh misrepresented fact on a daily basis. Rajneesh was no
simple con-man like so many others. Rajneesh knew everything that
Buddha knew and he was everything that Buddha was. It was his loss of
respect for ordinary truthfulness that destroyed his teaching.
health collapsed in his early thirties. Even before reaching middle
age, Rajneesh suffered reoccurring bouts of weakness. During his
youthful college years, when he should have been at a peak of vigor,
Rajneesh often had to sleep 12 to 14 hours a day due to his unexplained
illness. Rajneesh suffered from what Europeans call Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis (ME) or what Americans call Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
His classic symptoms included the obvious fatigue, strange allergies,
recurrent low grade fevers, photophobia, orthostatic intolerance (the
inability to stand for a normal period of time), insomnia, body pain,
and extreme sensitivity to smells and chemicals, a condition doctors now
refer to as "multiple chemical sensitivity."
trademark chemical sensitivity was so severe that he instructed his
guards to sniff people for unpleasant odors before they were allowed to
visit him in his quarters. People with Gulf War Syndrome, MS, and other
neurological diseases are also often highly sensitive to chemicals and
smells. Rajneesh's poor health and strange symptoms were a product of
real neurological damage, not some esoteric supersensitivity caused by
his enlightenment. Rajneesh also had Type II diabetes, asthma, severe
back pain, and most likely fibromyalgia.
constantly sick and frail from the time I first met him in 1970 until
his death in 1990. He thought he was getting a different cold or flu
every week. In reality, he suffered from a chronic neurological
illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, with flu like symptoms that can last
a lifetime. Rajneesh could not stand on his feet for long periods of
time without becoming lightheaded because he suffered damage to his
autonomic nervous system which controls blood pressure. This neurally
mediated hypotension (low blood pressure while standing) causes chronic
fatigue and can lower IQ due to a lack of sufficient blood and oxygen
being pumped to the brain (brain hypoxia). In the 1970s Rajneesh often
complained of becoming lightheaded immediately upon standing. During
the final few months of his life in Poona he frequently passed out into
prescription drugs, mainly Valium (diazepam), as an analgesic for his
aches and pains and to counter the symptoms of dysautonomia (dysfunction
of the autonomic nervous system). He took the maximum recommended dose
of 60 milligrams per day. Rajneesh also inhaled nitrous oxide (N2O)
mixed with pure oxygen (see
Osho in the Dental Chair), which he claimed increased his
dangers of N2O). The nitrous oxide probably did relieve the
sensation of severe exhaustion and suffocation patients with Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome often feel, but it did nothing for the quality of his
judgment. Naive about the powerful effects of drugs and overconfident
about his own ability to fight off their negative effects, Rajneesh
succumbed to addiction.
A number of
disciples have claimed that Rajneesh was so intoxicated at his Oregon
ranch in the 1980s that he sometimes urinated in the halls of his own
home, just as heroin addicts and common drunks often do. I believe this
to be true as the last time I saw Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh he was
inebriated to the point of becoming physically ugly. He had the same
washed-out look and foolish behavior I had witnessed in addicts while
working at a methadone clinic in the United States. Rajneesh had
miraculous mental powers, but he was an ordinary human being physically
and could not tolerate the devastating effects of massive doses of
On top of
Rajneesh's physical illness, his massive intake of Valium caused
paranoia and greatly reduced reasoning power. Valium addicts often
think the CIA or other unseen villains are plotting against them, so it
is not surprising he imagined he was poisoned by the United States
Government. His reasoning power became so damaged that at one point
Rajneesh actually considered moving to Russia to combine his
totalitarian form of spirituality with Russian communism, an idea no
sane man could possibly entertain. Historically Valium has been the
drug of choice for CFS sufferers, as it masks the unnerving symptoms of
dysautonomia and helps bring sleep. Rajneesh suffered from insomnia,
yet another classic symptom of CFS.
Rajneesh was a
physically ill man who became mentally corrupt. His brief
experimentation with LSD only made matters worse. Rajneesh's drug use
and addiction was a problem of his own making, not a government
conspiracy. Rajneesh died in 1990 with heart failure listed as the
official cause of death. It is probable that the physical decline
Rajneesh experienced during his incarceration in American jails was due
to a combination of withdrawal symptoms from Valium and an aggravation
of his ME/CFS due to stress and exposure to allergens.
Rajneesh's humiliation and downfall in America, he declared that he was
"Jesus crucified by Ronald Reagan's America." In truth Rajneesh was a
drug addicted guru who self-destructed through his own wrong actions.
Comparing himself to Jesus was doubly dishonest as he himself had no
respect for Jesus. He once undiplomatically proclaimed to the American
media that everything Jesus said was "just crazy."
Upon his sudden
death in 1990 there was much media speculation that Rajneesh had
committed suicide by taking a overdose of drugs. As no disciple has
confessed to giving Rajneesh a lethal injection, there is no hard
evidence to support the suicide theory. A compelling circumstantial
case could be made for such a scenario, however, with suicide provoked
by Rajneesh's constant ill health and disheartenment over the loss of
Vivek, his greatest love.
Vivek had taken
a fatal overdose of sleeping pills in a Bombay hotel one month before
Rajneesh's passing. Pointedly, Vivek decided to kill herself just
before his birthday celebration. Rajneesh had threatened suicide at the
Oregon commune several times, hanging his death over the heads of his
disciples as a threat unless they obeyed his wishes. On his last day on
earth, Rajneesh is reported to have said "Let me go. My body has become
a hell for me."
The rumor that
Rajneesh was poisoned with thallium by operatives of the United States
Government is entirely fictional and contradicted by undeniable fact.
One of the obvious symptoms of thallium poisoning is dramatic hair loss
within seven days of exposure. Rajneesh died with a full beard and no
exceptional baldness other than ordinary male pattern baldness at the
top of his head. Radiation
poisoning, another fictional cause of his illness, also causes dramatic
which may have led Rajneesh's doctors to suspect poisoning were in fact
common symptoms of dysautonomia caused by ME/CFS. Those symptoms can
include ataxia (uncoordinated movements), numbness, standing tachycardia
(rapid heart rate upon standing), paresthesia (sensations of prickling
and itching), nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome which causes
alternating between constipation and diarrhea.
The only proven
cases of poisoning related to Rajneesh were carried out by Rajneesh's
own sannyasins in 1984. A sannyasin is an initiated disciple, one who
takes sannyas. There were 751 victims, including women and small
children, at ten different restaurants in the small city of The Dalles, Oregon. Rajneesh sannyasins
attempted to take over the Wasco County Commission by making so many
people ill on election day that they could elect their own sannyasin
candidates. See the
Rajneesh bioterrorism newspaper story.
disciples poisoned salad bars with salmonella bacteria, which was mixed
into salad dressings, fruits and vegetables and the restaurants' coffee
creamers. Forty-five people became so ill they had to be hospitalized,
thus making the case the largest germ warfare attack in United States
history. Sannyasins were later suspected of trying to kill a Wasco
County executive by spiking his water with an unknown poison. Michael
Sullivan, a Jefferson County District Attorney, also became ill after
leaving a cup of coffee unattended as Rajneesh sannyasins roamed the
courthouse. Rajneesh never bothered to apologize to any of people who
were poisoned by his own trusted disciples.
Rajneesh's staff were poisoned by Ma Anand Sheela, Rajneesh's personal
secretary. Sheela had the habit of poisoning people who either knew too
much or who had simply fallen out of her favor. Sheela spent two and a
half years in a Federal medium security prison for her crimes, while Rajneesh pled
guilty to immigration fraud and was given a ten year suspended sentence,
fined $400,000. and deported from the United States of America.
felt that teaching ethics was unnecessary because meditation would
automatically lead to good behavior. The actions of Rajneesh himself
and his disciples proves that theory to be completely false. Rajneesh
taught that you should do as you please because life is both a dream and
a joke. This attitude led to the classically fascist belief that one
can become so high and mighty that one is beyond the need for old
fashioned values and honest ethical behavior.
unfamiliar with the Rajneesh story can read the book Bhagwan: The
God That Failed, published by Saint Martin's Press and written
by Hugh Milne (Shivamurti), a close disciple of Bhagwan during his Poona
and Oregon years. Mr. Milne's book is largely corroborated by Satya
Bharti Franklin's book, Promise of Paradise: A Woman's Intimate Life With 'Bhagwan'
Osho Rajneesh, published
by Barrytown/Station Hill Press. Both books are out of print but
secondhand copies of the books can be obtained through
Amazon.Com.UK. There have been several other tell-all books
published on the same subject matter, but I have not read them and I do
not know the authors, so I do not mention them by name here.
Bhagwan: The God That Failed, I can verify many of the facts
Mr. Milne states about the life of Rajneesh in Bombay and Poona, though
I have no first hand knowledge of the tragic events at the Oregon
commune. My contacts with people who were there lead me to believe that
most of the facts Mr. Milne presents of the Oregon era are also highly
accurate. Hugh Milne is due great credit for a well written and
entertaining book which is a sincere effort at complete honesty. On a
few occasions, however, I differ from Mr. Milne's interpretations of
what the facts he presents actually mean.
not suffer from "hypochondria," as Mr. Milne suggested. Rajneesh had a
very real neurological disease which he mistook for frequent viral
infections. Rajneesh became unusually afraid of germs only due to his
understandable medical ignorance. I fully agree with Mr. Milne that
Rajneesh suffered from "megalomania," however, and will add that the
short statured Rajneesh had a Napoleonic, obsessive and compulsive
suggests that Rajneesh used "hypnosis" to manipulate his disciples.
Rajneesh had a melodic and naturally hypnotic voice which would be a
great asset to any public speaker. However, in my personal opinion,
Rajneesh's power came from the intense energy field of the universal
cosmic consciousness which he channeled like a lens. Hindus call this
universal energy phenomena the Atman. As a Westerner I prefer more
scientific terms and describe the Atman as a highly evolved
manifestation of time-energy-space, the TES
(see The TES Hypothesis).
book records a day when Rajneesh admitted, while under the influence of
nitrous oxide, that there is no such thing as 'enlightenment.' I cannot
confirm this event through other contacts, but I assume if true Rajneesh
was simply stating what
has said all along, that the storybook fiction we accept of a perfect
enlightenment, full of infallible wisdom, is a big lie. A
powerful and expansive conscious state does exist in humans who achieve
it, but the way this state is described by the religious establishment
is an egocentric fiction, contrived by spiritual leaders to control the
masses for their own personal gain.
Enlightenment is not something you own. It is something you channel.
you use for the phenomena of enlightenment, it is scientifically
accurate to say that no human being has any power of their own. Even
the chemical energy of our metabolism is borrowed from the sun, which
beams light to the earth, which is then converted by plants through
photosynthesis into the food we eat. You may get your bread from the
supermarket, but the caloric energy it contains originated from
thermonuclear reactions deep in the center of a nearby star. Our
physical bodies run on star power. Any spiritual energy we channel also
comes from far beyond, from all sides of the universe, from the complete
TES, from beyond the oceans of galaxies and onto infinity. No human
being owns the Atman and no one can speak for the TES.
has no ambition or personality whatsoever, so Rajneesh could only speak
for his own animal mind. The animal mind may want its disciples to
"take over the whole world," but the Void does not care because it is
beyond any motivation. The phenomena we called Rajneesh, Bhagwan, and
Osho, was only a temporary lens of cosmic energy, not the full cosmos
George Gurdjieff, often used the power of the Atman for clearly personal
gain. Both men used their cosmic consciousness to overwhelm and seduce
women, which was largely a harmless affair in my opinion. Gurdjieff was
ashamed of his own behavior in this regard and vowed many times during
his life to end this practice, which was a combination of ordinary male
lust backed up by the potent advantage of oceanic super-mental power.
Rajneesh went even further and used his channeled cosmic energy to
manipulate masses of people to gain a kind of quasi-political status and
to aggrandize himself far beyond what was honest or helpful to his
disciples. In Oregon he declared to the media
that "My religion is the only religion!" Diplomacy and modesty
were not his strong points.
knowledge, George Gurdjieff never reached the extremes of
self-indulgence of Rajneesh and even warned his disciples not to have
blind faith. Gurdjieff wanted his students to be free and independent
with the combined abilities of clear mental reasoning and cosmic
consciousness. Rajneesh, by contrast, seemed to believe that only
his thoughts and ideas were of value because only he was
"enlightened." This was a grand error in judgment and revealed a basic
flaw in his character. Unfortunately, when Rajneesh achieved the
ability to fully channel the power of the Atman he failed to apply the
needed wisdom of self-restraint. His human mind so rebelled against
Asian asceticism that he failed to ensure that his borrowed power
was only used for the good of others. Rajneesh was driven by personal
ambition, not just compassion.
is the ultimate aphrodisiac." Henry Kissinger
India in 1981, Rajneesh bought the 64,000 acre
Big Muddy cattle ranch in eastern Oregon for six million dollars.
Rajneesh created his desert commune from his own powerful mind and
named it "Rajneeshpuram." He made himself the ultimate dictator, his
picture placed everywhere as in an Orwellian bad dream. J. Krishnamurti
called Rajneesh a "criminal" and Rajneeshpuram "a concentration-camp
under the dictatorship of enlightenment."
totalitarian atmosphere of Rajneeshpuram was just one of the many
reasons I did not stay at the commune beyond several brief visits. I
was interested in meditation, not in a big prison camp where human
beings were treated like insects with no intelligence of their own.
Rajneesh put such a high emphasis on his disciples following orders
without question that they did just that when Ma Anand Sheela,
Rajneesh's personal secretary, gave absurd orders to commit crimes which
Rajneesh himself (hopefully) would have never approved of.
decapitate the intelligence of human beings you create a situation that
is highly dangerous and destructive to the human spirit. You cannot
save people from their egos by demanding "total surrender." The
anti-democratic technique of forcing blind obedience did not work well
for Hitler, Stalin, or for Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Germany,
Russia, and the Rajneesh Oregon commune were all destroyed because of
authoritarian imperial rule. A diversity of opinion is always healthy
because it acts as an effective counterbalance to the myopic arrogance
of those who would be king. Rajneesh never understood this truth of
history and referred to democracy scornfully as "mob-ocracy." Bhagwan
Shree Rajneesh was an imperial aristocrat, never a generous and open
minded democrat, and he put his contempt for the democratic process into
highly visible action in Oregon.
In an attempt
to subvert local Wasco County elections, Rajneesh had
his sannyasins bus in almost 2,000 homeless people from major American
cities in an effort to unfairly rig the voting process in his favor.
Some of the new voters were mentally ill and were given beer laced with
drugs to keep them manageable. Credible allegations have been made that
one or more of the imported street people died due to overdosing on the
beer-drug mixture, but to my knowledge that charge has not been
conclusively proven. Rajneesh's voting fraud scheme failed and the
derelicts and mental patients were returned to the streets after the
election was over, used and then abandoned. If Rajneesh sannyasins had
only held truth above all instead of obedience to guru above
all, then no crimes would have been committed and the commune might
still be in existence today.
people, spoke out of both sides of his mouth, and betrayed the trust of
his own disciples. This betrayal caused Vivek, his longtime girlfriend
and companion, to commit suicide. Rajneesh even lied about her death,
slandering his greatest love in her grave by falsely claiming that she
was chronically depressed due to some intrinsic emotional instability. Vivek
was never depressed during the years I knew her and she was the most
radiant women I have ever known.
Vivek was a
glowing student of meditation, but her only meditation method was being
with Rajneesh and absorbing his tremendous energy. When her one true
love collapsed into insanity she took her own life out of overwhelming
grief. Rajneesh drove her to suicide because she could not understand
nor tolerate his mental decline and collapse. Rajneesh lied about her
death to avoid taking responsibility for his own bizarre behavior, which
was the underlying cause of Vivek's despair.
The same disciple who administered nitrous oxide to Rajneesh has been
spreading negative rumors about Vivek, claiming that she was not
a meditative person, as himself. He also claims that Vivek committed
suicide because she was depressed about reaching the age of forty and
that she suffered from a hormonal imbalance. This same sannyasin denied
to me emphatically that he gave Rajneesh irresponsible levels of nitrous
oxide, but later admitted to others he gave Rajneesh one to two hour
nitrous oxide "treatments" every day for five months. That level of
exposure is clearly drug abuse with no legitimate medical justification.
Acharya Rajneesh started his life as a teacher who condemned false gurus
and ended his life as one of the most deceitful gurus the world has ever
known. The difficult fact to comprehend is that he was enlightened when
he was an anti-guru puritan and he was still enlightened when he was the
ultimate corrupt self-indulgent guru himself. This seemingly
irreconcilable contradiction is the real reason I write this essay. I love to go into uncharted territory
where others fear to tread.
combine man's natural tendency for selfishness with an ivory tower
lifestyle, you have a situation where ethical behavior can appear to be
optional. Combine the unhealthy atmosphere of self-deification with a
debilitating progressive illness that lowers IQ, and on top of that add
drug abuse, then you have a cliff that even an enlightened man could
fall from. That fall could happen only if the enlightened man makes one
wrong choice, one false move, from both the heart and from the mind.
choice was to disregard truthfulness in favor of what he thought were
useful lies. Once you make that wrong turn, away from ordinary
straightforward truth, you have lost your way. No human being can
disregard fact on a regular basis without finding himself in a sea of
turmoil because by discarding fact you discard the ground beneath your
feet. Little lies grow into big lies and the now hidden truth becomes
your enemy, not your friend and ally.
Rajneesh overestimated himself and underestimated his own disciples.
The real seekers around him could have
easily handled the truth and were already motivated without the need for
propaganda. Rajneesh had been a high guru for such a long time that he
came to see himself in grandiose terms. He was indeed an historic
figure, but he was not the perfect superman he pretended to be. No
one is! His disciples deserved honesty but he fed them fairy tales
"to give them faith."
Krishnamurti had been more honest than Rajneesh in repeating
relentlessly that "there is no authority" due to the intrinsic
nature of the cosmos. Ardent Rajneesh disciples didn't heed
Krishnamurti's warnings and put blind faith in a man who claimed to be
all-seeing, to have all the answers, and who once in 1975 brashly stated
that he had never made a single mistake in his entire life. Clearly
Rajneesh made as many mistakes as any human being. Just as obviously,
his basic existential enlightenment was no guarantee of functional
was a brilliant philosopher he was a lost babe in the woods when it came
to the world of science. Worried about worldwide overpopulation,
Rajneesh pressured his disciples to undergo medical sterilization
procedures. Unfortunately, he did not consider the demographics of
population growth. The current population expansion is largely a
phenomena of poor third world nations, not a problem originating in the
USA, Canada, and Europe where birth rates are actually falling. North
America and Europe are only experiencing population increases due to
legal and illegal immigration from third world nations. Having his
Western disciples medically sever their reproductive capabilities only
added to this imbalance and many former disciples now regret they
complied without question to his thoughtless edicts.
followers from having families is a common device of gurus to keep
disciples from spending money on children rather than handing their cash
over to the guru himself. Childless
disciples make better workers and are usually more subservient. Thus
medical sterilization fit into Rajneesh's business plan and desire to
create an army of disciples who felt that "only the relationship to your
guru is important."
declared that the AIDS epidemic would soon kill three quarters of the
world's population and that a major nuclear war was just around the
corner. He thought he could escape nuclear holocaust by building
underground shelters and slow the spread of AIDS by having his disciples
wash their hands with alcohol before eating meals. His more reasoned
admonition was for his disciples to always use condoms. To
enforce his sexual rules, which also involved elaborate instructions on
the use of rubber gloves during sexual encounters, Rajneesh encouraged
his sannyasins to spy on each other, reporting the names of those who
failed to conform to his orders.
earlier Poona days, Rajneesh stated that we are attracted to beautiful
people because their outer beauty represents the inner beauty of their
souls, as it is the soul which creates the physical body and mind.
Science knows as fact that DNA creates the body and brain, not any
mysterious immaterial "soul." Outward beauty does not even guarantee a
sane mind. The infamous serial killer Ted Bundy was quite handsome and
charming outwardly, yet he is estimated to have murdered between 35 and
50 women just for the trill of it (see
photographs of Ted Bundy).
The disaster of
Rajneesh appointing himself the singular great brain of the universe was
compounded by his lack of real world reasoning skills, and this was the
case even before he started taking large amounts of Valium. Rajneesh
had no understanding of, or appreciation for, the scientific method. If
he thought something was true, in his own mind, that made it true.
Rajneesh could weave magnificent philosophical dreams and addict his
disciples to imagined worlds of spiritual adventure, but those
dreams did not have to stand any empirical test of truth. In the world
of science you have to prove what you say is true through testing. In
the world of philosophy and religion you can say anything you desire and
throw caution to the wind. If your words sound good to the masses they
will sell, whether they are fact or fiction (see
Common Lies of the Phony World of Mystics).
his desert empire as a warlord with his own private army and puppet
government. His visions and ideas, faulty or not, were taken without
question as the word of God. His disciples were judged by their ability
to surrender to his will and any opposing views were branded as an
unspiritual lack of faith. As
conditions at the ranch became progressively more unpleasant, a number
of sannyasins escaped by hiding in the back of outgoing trucks. Their
quest for freedom upset Rajneesh, who demanded that the disillusioned
must now ask his permission to leave. Rajneesh then dramatically
threatened suicide if others escaped by stealthful means.
reasoning became even more apparent during and after the Oregon commune
scandal. After being jailed and then deported from the USA, Rajneesh angrily declared
America "a wretched country" and Americans "subhuman," ignoring the fact
that it was he, an Indian, who pled guilty to felony immigration fraud
and that it was Sheela, an Indian, who ordered the most serious crimes
which brought his empire to ruin. Even in his fifties Rajneesh was
still lying to get his own way, still demanding to always be the center
of attention, and by 1988, suffering from drug and illness induced
dementia, was pouting that his box of toys, his expensive car collection
and jewel encrusted watches, had been taken away.
disciples thought they were following an authoritative "enlightened
master." In reality they had been mislead by a highly fallible
enlightened human animal who was still a little boy at heart. Rajneesh
had not only misrepresented himself personally, but he misrepresented
the phenomena of enlightenment itself. The idealized fantasy of perfect
enlightenment does not exist anywhere in the real world and it has never
existed. The universe is far too
big and complex for anyone to be its "master." We are all subjects, not
masters, and those who pretend to be infallible and all-knowing end up
looking even more the fool in the end.
"Nature does not use anything as a model. It is only interested in
perfecting the species. It is trying to create perfect species and not
perfect beings." U.G.
sages of old seem perfect to us now only because they have become larger
than life myths. The long passage of time has allowed their followers
to effectively cover up their guru's flaws, just as Rajneesh disciples
are currently rewriting and censoring history to cover up Rajneesh's
great failings. Rajneesh was never more infallible than any other human
being. What we call enlightenment is not a cure-all for faults and
frailties that cling to human animals even after they achieve maximum
possible consciousness, which is perhaps a more realistic definition
of the term 'enlightenment.'
contradiction of corruption and enlightenment can occur because the
individual is only the lens of enlightenment, not the source of cosmic
power itself. The enlightened only allow universal energy to pass
through them unblocked, untouched, and uncontaminated. In a way no one
ever really becomes enlightened personally. Enlightenment happens at
the place where you are standing but you cannot own it or possess it.
All the words of so-called enlightened men come from the human brain
which interprets the phenomena of enlightenment like a translator. The
words do not come from the enlightenment itself. By definition
enlightenment cannot speak. It is absolutely silent and beyond any need
addicted to Valium and he experienced all the negative symptoms of drug
addiction, which included slurred speech, paranoia, poor judgment, and
dramatically lowered intelligence. At one point his paranoia and
confusion were so great that he thought a group of German cultists had
cast an evil spell on him. His physical disabilities and drug abuse
were simply more than his mortal brain could take. His biggest flaw,
his disregard for the ordinary concept of truth, was his ultimate
downfall and for that crime he must be held fully responsible with no
give a sucker an even break." W.C. Fields
when he said he had enlightened disciples. He lied when he said he
never made a mistake. At the end of his life he was forced to admit he
was fallible as his list of bungles had grown to monstrous proportions.
He lied by pretending the therapy groups run by his disciples were not
mainly a money making device. Rajneesh lied about breaking United
States immigration laws and only admitted the truth when he was
presented with overwhelming documented evidence against him. He lied by
saying that he was adopted in a phony scheme to get permanent residence
status. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was no bank robber, but he certainly was
a very big liar. The ridiculous thing is that all of his lies were
totally unnecessary and counterproductive. As conventional and square
as it may sound, honesty really is the best policy!
when he claimed he was not responsible for the horrors of the Oregon
commune because he hand picked Ma Anand Sheela and the people who
committed the major crimes of conspiracy to commit murder, poisoning, first-degree assault, burglary, arson,
and wiretapping. Rajneesh himself gave direct verbal approval for
Sheela's illegal wiretapping and bugging of his own disciples. The fact
that Rajneesh did not order or have pre-knowledge (hopefully) of the
most serious and dangerous crimes does not mean that he was not
ethically responsible for them.
If a teacher
puts a drunken sailor in charge of driving a school bus and the children
end up dead, then the teacher is responsible for their deaths. Rajneesh
knew what kind of a person Sheela was and he chose her because of her
corruption and arrogance, not in spite of it. In a cowardly attempt to
evade his own failings he changed his name from Rajneesh to Osho, as if
a change in name could wash away his sins.
There is no
publicly released evidence to suggest that Rajneesh ordered the germ
warfare attack on the ten Oregon restaurants. There is also no publicly
released evidence that implicates Rajneesh in the plot to have a
sannyasin pilot fly an airplane full of explosives into an Oregon
courthouse in order to intimidate the political opposition. Luckily,
the sannyasin pilot who was asked to perform the insane task was not as
dumb as the plotters and fled the commune without committing any crime.
directly responsible for the twisted mix of totalitarian slavery and
libertine indulgence that the commune represented. According to highly
credible published reports, Rajneesh allowed middle aged men to have
sexual intercourse with pre-pubescent girls at the commune in the name
of sexual freedom, yet disciples were not allowed to have a mind of
their own and had to totally surrender to the great Bhagwan's will.
Disciples were often forced to work 12 hours a day in cold and
difficult conditions while Rajneesh himself enjoyed, in his own words, "groovy
spaces" in his private heated indoor pool, watched countless movies
on his big screen projection television, and enjoyed his daily drug
supply. Rajneesh showed his divine love for his disciples by
squandering millions in hard earned commune assets on his car collection
and expensive jewelry, and all in the name of egolessness and spiritual
Why did Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh own 90 Rolls Royces? Why did Saddam
Hussein own dozens of luxurious palaces? Those desires were products of
the base animal mind of two men who grew up in poverty. Enlightenment
does not care about symbols of power and potency. Looking for hidden
esoteric explanations for obsessive behavior is pointless. Is there an
occult reason that Elton John spends over $400,000. per month on
flowers? Is there a secret spiritual reason that Rajneesh had a
collection of dozens of expensive ladies' watches? The universal cosmic
consciousness is completely neutral and without any need to possess,
impress, or dominate. It also cannot drive or tell time.
Rajneesh's most blatant lies was that "the enlightened one gains nothing
from his disciples." Rajneesh wanted people to believe that everything
he did was a free gift born of pure compassion and that he gained
nothing personally from the guru-disciple relationship. In obvious
provable fact Rajneesh gained much from his disciples; money, power,
sex, and the titillation of constant adoration. Being a guru was his
business, his only business. Without that income, at least on the
material level, he was just a short, balding Indian man who could not
hold a job. Rajneesh's very real
enlightenment would not pay his bills or give him the material luxuries
he craved, unless of course he used his intoxicating energy to gain
power and money from his own disciples.
Just as rock
stars become energized by screaming fans at concerts, Rajneesh gained
emotional energy and support from his disciples. The energy transfer
was a two-way street, not a totally free one-way gift. During
Rajneesh's incarceration in America, a television network broadcast a
video of Rajneesh caught off-guard by a security camera while he was
being held in a waiting room. Rajneesh looked bored and disgusted, just
as any ordinary man might be. He didn't look blissful or enlightened at
all. In my own opinion that video
clip revealed the stark truth about the phenomena we call
'enlightenment.' The realization of the Void is not enough for anyone.
All human animals, enlightened or not, need social interaction and the
comforts of the material world to be content.
needs entertainment to survive and Rajneesh used his disciples as
playthings for his own amusement. Rajneesh had no bankable power of his
own. He could only gain material power by manipulating others to do his
equation was simple; the more disciples he attracted, the more power and
wealth he obtained.
Rajneesh, on so
many levels, was just an ordinary man. Sexually he was even less than
ordinary. Pretending to be a
great tantric in his early years, Rajneesh handed out ridiculously bad
sexual advice at a time when he had very little first hand experience
with sex himself. During his
Bombay era, Rajneesh often grabbed the breasts of his young female
disciples. On at least one occasion he asked a couple to have sex in
front of him so he could watch. The couple wisely rejected his request.
asked women half his age to strip in front of him so that he could "feel
their chakras." To facilitate this practice, he installed an electric
lock on his bedroom door that could be activated from his desk where he
spent most of his time. After Rajneesh started having sexual
intercourse on a regular basis, the spiritual need for him to feel the
chakras of his female disciples mysteriously vanished.
the breasts of two of my women friends and "felt the chakras" of a
third. I soon began to realize that like so many other girl grabbing
Indian gurus who had made the headlines, Rajneesh on the human level was
just an ordinary sexually immature Indian male. My lady friend who
suffered the charkra feeling incident was so put off that she never came
back to see him. He had told her "Don't worry, you are mine now." That
grasping statement had chilled her as much as the sexual advance. The
young woman was a student of Indian music and had previously been
sexually exploited by a famous Indian musician she had studied with.
She knew first hand what many Indian men were like. Rajneesh proved
himself to be predictably and disappointingly the same.
had much inside him that I wanted;...light, energy, and a vastly
expanded state of being. Regrettably, he also had much inside him that
I did not want or respect. I do not find fault
with Rajneesh for having the same sexual desires that all men have. I
do find fault when he was dishonest and cruel for selfish reasons.
While living in Bombay, Rajneesh made one young woman pregnant through
an aggressive and unasked for seduction. The young woman was highly
upset and forced by circumstance to have an abortion. Rajneesh,
protecting his image as a great guru, lied about his involvement and
claimed that she had imagined the whole affair. The young woman told
the American Embassy her story and that incident marked the beginning of
Rajneesh's troubles with the United States Government.
Rajneesh's close disciples believed the young woman, not the much older
"enlightened" man. Similarly, decades later many would believe a young
White House intern, not a much older President Bill Clinton. Being president, or being "enlightened," does not always ensure good
provided human animals with a strong, virtually unstoppable sex drive to
ensure reproduction of the species. Because of the overwhelming
importance and power of sex, most gurus, enlightened or not, have
maintained active sex lives which are often kept secret for purely
political reasons. In his early years Rajneesh lied about his strong
sexuality by claiming to be celibate. To be fair, this has to be
understood in the context of a rigidly anti-sexual and highly
hypocritical Indian social structure. Later on, after his position as a
guru had become solidified, Rajneesh publicly bragged to the American
media about having sex "with hundreds of women." All
of Rajneesh's sex partners were his own female meditation students who
were used as his personal harem.
All human beings are animals, specifically mammals. Scientists now
understand that human DNA is approximately 99.4% the same as chimpanzee
news story). World history, Asian mythology, politics, and the
world of alpha male gurus makes allot more sense if you keep that
unavoidable fact in mind. Our most primal subconscious motivating
forces come from the animal world, which we are still a part of.
The last time I
visited the Rajneesh ashram in Poona, India, was in 1988. It was literally like a loud convention of German
Brownshirts (storm troopers) by that point. Rajneesh, alias "Osho," was
still very popular in Germany, due
in part to his comments in the German magazine Stern which were
widely interpreted as being pro-Hitler. Many young Germans who were
looking for a strong and charismatic leader were thrilled by his words.
Those who lost loved ones during World War II were justifiably shocked.
Even in the
early 1970s in Bombay, Rajneesh made careless statements which could
easily be interpreted as being pro-Hitler and pro-fascist. In one
lecture on "esoteric groups" he claimed that Adolf Hitler had been
telepathically propped up by an occult Buddhist group that Rajneesh
himself was in contact with. During World War II it is well known that
a number of Brahman Indian yogis and Japanese "Zen masters" had
supported the Axis cause and the extermination of the "inferior races,"
so Rajneesh's claim was not entirely surprising, if not totally
Years later in
Poona, Rajneesh gave an infamous lecture in which he stated that Jews
had given Hitler "no choice" but to try to exterminate them. In his
last years Rajneesh stated that "I have fallen in love with this man (Adolf
Hitler). He was crazy, but I am crazier still." Rajneesh said that he
wanted his sannyasins "to take over the world" and that he had studied
Hitler to gain insight into how to accomplish the task. For a man who
portrayed himself as the world's smartest, highest, and greatest soul,
such remarks were proof to me that his drug use had destroyed the
quality of his mind.
comments about Hitler could be discounted as obnoxious but largely
harmless hot air if it were not for the fact that he put many of
Hitler's techniques into practice. Rajneesh used Hitler's big lie
method of mind control very effectively and demanded total surrender
from his troops (disciples), just as Hitler did. Rajneesh condoned
illegal spying on his own disciples at the Oregon commune and used
informants to weed out the disloyal. Sheela, his personal secretary,
turned the tables on Rajneesh by bugging Rajneesh's trademark
high-backed chair. The Oregon police later found Rajneesh's illegally
taped conversations, but due to rules of evidence they could not be used
against him in a court of law. The tapes were reported to be highly
damning as to Rajneesh's culpability in much of the commune's illegal
many of his disciples into the equivalent of armed Brownshirts. I have
received letters from several of Rajneesh's former security guards who
admitted they had fallen under the spell of fascism and now regretted
their behavior and attitudes. One wrote that he did not even know how
to meditate and that the thrill of power was what kept him loyal to his
great leader. In Poona, Rajneesh guards beat up an annoying local
resident, his hands held behind his back as the guards pummeled him. In
Oregon, Rajneesh guards were armed to the teeth with handguns and
military style semi-automatic assault rifles. Rajneesh was never an
admirer of the great Indian pacifist Mahatma Gandhi, but he did have a
unhealthy fascination with Adolf Hitler as well as United States General
George Patton. According to Shivamurti, Rajneesh watched the movie
Patton over and over again on his big screen television at
his ranch in Oregon.
In my opinion
Rajneesh's worst personal trait was that he could dish it out but he
could not take it. He constantly put his disciples through great
physical hardships which resulted in serious illness and even death for
some, yet he himself lived in luxury and could not endure physical
discomfort without complaining loudly like a baby. After his arrest on
October 28th, 1985, at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in
North Carolina, Rajneesh was interviewed by ABC television news. He
began his jailhouse interview by crying in a shrill voice about his less
than royal accommodations in the slammer. His high pitched whining was
so weird and annoying that a late night comedy television show used the
footage sarcastically as a joke about "God" complaining.
Rajneesh's appearance on the ABC television show Nightline,
Rajneesh gave evasive and dishonest answers to all of Ted Koppel's
questions and behaved as an unusually pompous and inept politician
caught red handed at illegal activity. Rajneesh claimed that he was not
responsible for any of the crimes committed at the commune
because he was "in silence." In
proven fact, although Rajneesh had stopped giving public lectures for a
time, he had never stopped talking to Ma Anand Sheela and other close
disciples. Rajneesh was always the ultimate authority at the commune,
even though Sheela committed some of the most serious crimes behind his
favorite Rolls Royce dealer stated that "the Bhagwan" had spent hours on
the telephone talking to him about his often weekly purchases of new
automobiles. All of the 90 Rolls Royces were paid for from general
commune funds on his direct orders, not "gifts" from outsiders as he
would later try to claim. Rajneesh was the only person who wanted the
cars and he was the only person allowed to drive them. After
bankrupting the commune he claimed the automobiles were owned by the
commune, not by him.
pretended not to know that he was leaving the United States to escape an
impending arrest warrant, thus secretly abandoning his disciples to face
the music on their own. His own sannyasins did not know he had left the
commune until they learned from the media of the arrest of Rajneesh and
several followers at the North Carolina airport. Their luggage
contained a bag of cash, a box of expensive jewel encrusted watches and
a handgun. Rajneesh's defense was that he was innocently sleeping when
police boarded the private jet he had hired to escape to Bermuda.
Rajneesh said he thought Bermuda was just another American state and that he was going on vacation to
rest and to escape "death threats." The authorities later learned that
a Rajneesh disciple with ties to the United States Justice Department
had tipped off Rajneesh about his impending arrest on immigration fraud.
cult had little luck winning over American television viewers. Ma Anand
Sheela disgraced herself on Nightline weeks earlier by
bursting into loud obscenities, forcing Ted Koppel to take her off the
air. The NBC television show Saturday Night Live climbed
on the Rajneesh comedy bandwagon by doing a skit about an auction with
actor Randy Quaid selling off "the Bhagwan's" approximately 90 Rolls
Royces. The FOX network cartoon
show The Simpsons produced a spoof of Rajneesh, depicting
a white gloved guru driving his Rolls Royce down a dusty commune road as
his disciples felt joy at eating his road dust. In the cartoon, the
great guru tried to escape the commune with bags of cash in a homemade
peddle driven flying machine.
it comes to gurus, take the best and leave the rest." Ramamurti Mishra
During my last
visit to the Poona ashram in 1988, Rajneesh was in silence because he
was angry at his own disciples. He wanted his sannyasins to demonstrate
in the streets against some Indian officials who had spoken out against
him. Wisely, no one was interested in creating a new confrontation.
This spell of sanity among the flock irritated Rajneesh, who canceled
public talks as punishment. I was thus only able to see him on video
On the taped
lecture Rajneesh was ranting emotionally, and factually incorrectly,
about how the police in the United States had stolen his collection of
jewel encrusted ladies' watches. He said they would never be able to
wear them in public because his sannyasins would see the watches on
their wrists, at airports etc., and start screaming out loudly that "you
stole Bhagwan's watch!" His words and manner were so childishly
irrational that he reminded me of Jim Jones. This crazy old man, now
called "Osho," was a far cry from the serene, dignified, and highly
eloquent Acharya Rajneesh I had met years earlier.
Some may be
horrified that an enlightened man could become a convicted felon, but
that has not stopped me from seeking the ultimate existential truth.
Rajneesh's life is a lesson for us all to practice what we preach.
Rajneesh gave great advice but he could not heed his own wise words.
He is also a reminder not to take what people say very seriously. It
is better to observe how people live and put less emphasis on what they
speak. Talk is cheap. Actions are more costly and telling.
men have egos? In my younger idealistic years I would have said the
answer is no. Rajneesh, Gurdjieff, and even J. Krishnamurti prove to me
that they do. I became convinced that Rajneesh had an ego when I saw
him on television in chains being transported from jail to an Oregon
courthouse. In response to a reporter's question he looked into the
television camera and spoke to his disciples saying "Don't worry. I'll
be back." It was not what he said, but the look in his eyes that was
positive proof for me. I could see his ego in action, calculating and
manipulating. Once you see something that clearly no rationalizations
can cover up the basic truth. Rajneesh was magnificently enlightened
but he was also profoundly egotistical.
ordinary humans the ego is the center of awareness and the Void is
perceived only at the periphery. People look at a picture taken by the
Hubble Space Telescope and they see the Void as an outside object,
not as a personal identity. When you become enlightened, either
temporarily in a satori or permanently as a Buddha, the situation is
reversed. Now the Void is your center of awareness and the ego is at
the periphery. Ego does not die, it just no longer takes the center
stage of your attention.
is a functional disassociation of identity. The human brain is a
biologically created thinking machine that has evolved for both personal
self-preservation and the survival of the species. The ego, which is a
selfish motivating force, is needed to protect our colony of living
cells (the physical body) from danger and to keep our cells replenished
with food and water. If you did not have an ego you would not be able
to think, speak, or find food, shelter, and clothing. The ego function
is so vital for survival that the human brain evolved with two potential
ego mechanisms, one a centralized ego and the second a larger and more
diffuse backup system utilizing less central portions of the brain.
If the body and
brain becomes physically ill with high fever and the centralized ego
center is damaged, the backup ego mechanism may temporarily take over
its function. This is ego displacement without enlightenment. The
backup self-maintenance system keeps sleep walkers out of danger and
helps enlightened human animals find food and the basics of life, so
they do not physically die as a result of their own deep meditation.
humans do not feel their more diffuse ego and thus they feel as free as
space itself. In actuality ego is still present and working, just as
our autonomic nervous system keeps on working whether we are aware of
its function or not. You do not have to consciously tell your heart to
beat 70 times a minute because it will keep on beating regardless of
your awareness. The brain function that controls heart rate is
automatic (autonomic) and does not need our consciousness to make it
Some enlightened human animals have become fooled by the phenomena of
ego displacement and thought they no longer had any personal selfishness
that could cause trouble. Meher Baba spent much of his life bragging
about how great he was, yet at his center he felt perfectly egoless. He
once even proclaimed that "No one loves me as much as I deserve to be
loved." In truth Meher Baba was very egocentric and should have
realized that even enlightenment is no excuse for bragging.
same fundamental misjudgment plagued Acharya Rajneesh. He became fooled
into thinking that he was above arrogance and greed, but that was simply
not the case. The ego is an
integral part of the structure of the human brain. It is not simply
psychological, but neurological and hard wired into our neural pathways
the scientific study of 'self''). The self-survival, self-defense
mechanism we call 'ego' cannot be destroyed unless the physical body
Even enlightened humans have to mind their manners and realize that
the Atman is the wondrous phenomena they should promote, not their own
fallible and temporary personalities. Ramana
Maharshi had the right approach in this regard, and that is one reason
he is still beloved by all. Ramana Maharshi promoted the Atman, the
universal cosmic consciousness, but never his own mortal body and mind.
corruption, his poor judgment, and his disastrous last years, everyone
who experienced Acharya Rajneesh's oceanic energy still loves at least
the memory of his spiritual presence. Through
it all, the good, the bad, and the horrific, Rajneesh's vibrations were
always magnificent. Visitors to the Osho ashram in India often feel a
giant wave of cosmic presence there. That wave is but the vibrational
remnant of what we once called Rajneesh. The body has been turned to
ashes, and Rajneesh himself is gone, but the wave can still be felt. In
the same way J. Krishnamurti's presence remains a powerful force at Arya
Vihara, his former home in Ojai, California.
spectacular energy was proof that he was 'enlightened' in the Eastern
esoteric sense of the word. The Eastern esoteric definition is an
energy phenomena, gained only by those who are totally open to the
infinite power of the universe. The Western meaning of 'enlightenment'
simply means to be a very wise man, which Rajneesh, in my opinion, was
It is because I
value the truth above all that I write what I believe are
essential criticisms. If we
cannot analyze our mistakes then our suffering was a waste of time. The
ongoing cover-up of Rajneesh's frailties by his establishment disciples
will only destroy the possibility of learning from his tragedy. Osho
worshippers can destroy the tapes and physical evidence of his insane
behavior, but they cannot change what actually happened.
after returning to Poona,
Rajneesh continued his Valium and nitrous oxide use and seemed unable to
learn from his own mistakes. Rajneesh had often branded his critics as
"idiots," yet in his final years he himself did not have any sane voice
inside himself to say no. Enough is enough! Like a deranged
alcoholic, Rajneesh could not stop his destructive behavior and the
quality of his judgment dropped below that of even the most ordinary of
unenlightened human beings. Rajneesh
had used the myth of Tantra to rationalize his dishonesty and
selfishness and now he could not stop. He had become a drug addict,
plain and simple, and no amount of spiritual rationalizations could
alter that fact.
I miss Acharya
Rajneesh, never Osho, because he was at his finest when he had no
manipulating political organization surrounding him. When Acharya
Rajneesh was just a man in an apartment with one old Chevrolet, not
dozens of Rolls Royces, he was more honest and true. When he became his
own political establishment things started to go wrong and that is often
the case with men of great power.
Rajneesh scandal exposed the unconscious slavery of Bhakti Yoga and the
underlying fraudulence and corruption of "lefthanded Tantra." What is
needed is an honest path, built on self-observation, self-reliance, and
respect for truth. The days of the know-it-all guru are over. It is
time to realize the source of all things directly.
lifelong teaching had been that enlightenment meant a state of perfect
egolessness which brought about great wisdom, compassion, and in his
unique case, total infallibility. In the last months of his life Osho
finally admitted publicly that the ego could not be destroyed, only
"observed." The basis of his demand for total surrender of his
disciples was that the ego contaminated followers must submit their will
to the perfect master, because only the master had no ego and thus could
do no wrong. If this were not true, then why should any disciple
surrender to another fallible and corruptible human ego? The course of
Rajneesh's own life proved that his basic teaching was wrong and a lie.
In his last
days Osho argued with his doctors to ignore their medical ethics and
give him even more nitrous oxide. Osho rationalized his drug addiction
just as a teenage boy might if caught smoking marijuana by his own
mother. The God "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh" had fallen down to the
stumble-drunk Osho, and a substantial number of his disciples were so
addicted to his artfully seductive words and false image that they did
not even seem to see what was happening right in front of their eyes.
It would be wonderful to believe that
enlightened men were perfect in every way. That would make life simpler
and sweeter, but it would be fiction, not fact.
letters I have received
person can imagine the wide range of letters I have received as a result
of posting my Web essay on Acharya - Bhagwan - Osho - Rajneesh. To date
about half of the letters have been from former Rajneesh disciples who
generally agree with my comments and who thank me for putting them on
the Web. Those who agree tell me they see "compassion for all involved"
on my Web page and that I got it "just about right."
letters I receive are from current disciples of the now deceased Osho,
many whom have never actually met the man in person. Those letters
range from death threats from several German disciples to poorly written
and often unsigned insults. The
Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance also gets lots of hate
mail, but from many different cults, not just from one. It is
interesting to see how most personality cults are alike in this regard.
The us vs. them mentality takes over and anyone who does not tow
the party line of the cult is deemed a villain.
nothing to do with cults, organizations, politics, or business, but for
many meditation is a secondary issue. For them it is all about hero
worship and blind obedience to the memory of a now dead guru, which is a
silly waste of time in my opinion.
Why not go directly to the source of all gurus and religions through
your own meditation? There is an old Zen saying that "One should not
become attached to anything that can be lost in a shipwreck."
Certainly this admonition applies to gurus as well.
followers have written me claiming to be enlightened and I hear reports
that many Osho disciples now make that claim. One man said that he was
"the new Osho" and invited me to visit his Web page. His page displayed
a large heroic picture of himself, much self-promotion, and an
advertisement for prostitutes in Russia, who he claimed were practicing "Tantra." So for him "enlightenment"
and being "the new Osho" literally means to be a pimp.
who had never met Osho in person, claimed that reading Osho's books
helped him get over his "mental illness" and now he was "enlightened"
himself. He then forcefully instructed me to rewrite my Web page to
make it "less judgmental" and suggested that Osho's hypocrisy was just a
means to convey his enlightenment to others. Well, Osho certainly did
convey his hypocrisy to others!
One young woman
who grew up on the Rajneesh Oregon commune asked me how she could make
money out of teaching Osho's meditation techniques. I replied that she
should go to an employment agency and get an honest job. Meditation and
business do not mix and there are too many money hungry gurus out there
It shocks me to
find that many Osho disciples do not care about the crimes that were
committed and are not bothered by the lies and hypocrisy of their own
movement. They don't seem to comprehend that as a result of the germ
warfare attack committed by Rajneesh sannyasins on restaurants in Oregon
that meditation groups have gotten a very bad name around the world.
The unrelated but equally infamous nerve gas attack on a subway station
in Tokyo by a Japanese cult named
Aum Shinrikyo worsened this situation considerably.
The attitude of
many Osho sannyasins seems to be that as long as they get their psychic
kicks it does not matter who was hurt or how unethical and disgraceful
their own behavior was. In their
minds everyone in the world was responsible for the Oregon debacle
except them! As a result of
this careless attitude many Americans now feel that if a meditation
group starts an ashram nearby it is time to buy a gun and a gas mask.
The amount of
historical revisionism and propaganda put out by some Osho disciples
rivals the efforts of
Maoists during the 1960s and their state of mind is similar. If you
want to believe in one perfect man, a pope of the universe, then anyone
who criticizes that pope is deemed a devil. Thus all the subtleties of
my essay are lost on these disciples and all they claim to see on my Web
page is "hate and anger." Of course they do not see the hate in
themselves directed at anyone who does not share their own narrow
book, Bhagwan: The God That Failed, could have easily also
been entitled The Man Who Became His Own Opposite, or The Man
Who Betrayed Himself. I often tell people that if they could go
back in time and kidnap the Acharya Rajneesh of 1970, then bring him up
through the years to meet the Osho of the late 1980s, that the two men
would be at war with each other. Acharya would have hated Osho's
pompous self-indulgence and Osho would have never tolerated the young
Acharya's brash criticisms. Acharya Rajneesh spoke of freedom and
compassion. Osho once said that he wished someone would "shoot"
(assassinate) former Soviet leader Mikael Gorbachev because he was leading the Soviet Union
to Western style capitalism instead of his own imagined "spiritual
communism." This change in teaching was remarkable.
I would like to
think that the early Acharya Rajneesh would have approved of my essay,
but who can say for sure. For
those who suggest I am not being loyal to Osho, I counter that I am
honestly trying to be loyal to Acharya Rajneesh, the man I took sannyas
from, not Osho. The Acharya was a man I still deeply love and respect.
But that Acharya Rajneesh died along time before Osho was even born and
the two men were as different as day and night.
My message to
letter writers is to go ahead and write me. You can vent anger or thank
me, but neither will have much effect on me as I have heard it all
before, from both sides. I can only sigh and ask myself how Acharya
Rajneesh, who started out as an anti-guru extraordinaire, ended up as he
did with this current crop of disciples. Perhaps it shows that power
really can corrupt anyone and that the means rarely justifies the
In the end
where is meditation in all of this? "Color Puncture," "Tantric Tarot,"
encounter groups, and every phony crackpot scam in the book is being
peddled by Osho disciples for large sums of money, but what about
meditation? Then I think back to the day when the just turned 40 year
old Acharya wisely instructed a friendly Japanese woman that "Meditation
must not be made into a business." The corrupt means have
gotten so far out of hand that the original intent of the ends,
Acharya Rajneesh's noble vision, have long been forgotten by many, but
not by me.
This spectacular meditation method was
Rajneesh's trademark and remains a tremendously effective tool for
naturally expanding consciousness. Rajneesh never did the technique
himself because he didn't need to. He developed the method simply by
observing his disciples, who would occasionally go into spontaneous body
movements during his early meditation camps. When his judgment started
to decline he unfortunately changed the third and fourth stage of the
method into a pointless torture test. The correct and most effective
version of this meditation technique has four stages, each lasting ten
Start by standing with your eyes
closed and breath deep and fast through your nose for ten minutes.
Allow your body to move freely. Jump, sway back and forth, or use any
physical motion that helps you pump more oxygen into your lungs.
The second ten minute stage is one of catharsis. Let go totally and be
spontaneous. You may dance or roll on the ground. For once in your
life screaming is allowed and encouraged. You must act out any anger
you feel in a safe way, such as beating the earth with your hands. All
the suppressed emotions from your subconscious mind are to be released.
In the third stage you jump up and
down yelling Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! continuously for ten minutes. This sounds
silly, and is funny, but the loud vibration of your voice travels down
to your centers of stored energy and pushes that energy upward. When
doing this stage it is important to keep your arms loose and in a
natural position. Do not hold your arms over your head as that
position can be medically dangerous.
The fourth 10 minute stage is
complete relaxation and quiet. Flop down on your back, get comfortable,
and just let go. Be as a dead man, totally surrendered to the cosmos.
Enjoy the tremendous energy you have unleashed in the first three
stages and become a silent witness to the ocean as it flows into the
drop. Become the ocean.
unwisely changed the third stage of the method to rigidly holding your
arms over your head while shouting Hoo! Even worse, he changed the
fourth stage to freezing in place like a statue with your arms still
awkwardly held over your head. This method is not only uncomfortable to
the point of torture, it can also be medically dangerous for those with
an underlying heart condition. When you stand with arms elevated over
your head you increase your level of orthostatic stress. This means
that your heart must work harder to pump blood that has traveled down to
your legs back up to your heart and on to your brain. You could easily
pass out in this position or induce a heart attack in individuals with
coronary artery disease.
place makes deep relaxation impossible as it keeps your mind's
controlling functions fully operational. This holds your consciousness
on the surface, defeating the purpose of the exercise. The point of the
technique was to have three stages of intense action followed by a
fourth stage of deep relaxation and complete let go. Rajneesh
himself could never have practiced the freeze method even in his youth.
Asking his disciples to do it simply showed that he had lost touch with
physical reality. Rajneesh was a fallible human being, never a perfect
students to only use the enjoyable early version of Dynamic Meditation
and not the pointlessly difficult freeze method version. This wonderful
technique was intended to grow with the student and change as the
student changes. After a few years of practicing the method vigorously
the first three stages of the meditation should drop away spontaneously.
You then go into the meditation hall, take a few deep breaths, and
immediately go deep into the ecstasy of the fourth stage. Rajneesh
intended the method to be fluid, health giving, and fun. Those new
students who wish to experiment with Rajneesh Dynamic Meditation should
read the section on Cathartic Dancing Meditation in
Meditation Handbook for further warnings and details before
experimenting with this powerful technique.
Rajneesh's (Osho's) books
- Be warned that Rajneesh/Osho used words as a device to draw
people close to him and was not concerned about speaking the truth. In
my opinion about half of what he said was true, either factually or at
least poetically. The rest was a mixture of fluff, fill, and
balderdash. Much of his words represented a kind of self-serving
spiritual pornography. At his worst Rajneesh came out with titles like
"The World of Rajneesh" and his organization's recent printing of
"Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic." This is like an
arrogant television newsman who thinks that he is the story
rather than the headlines of the day.
Opinions expressed on this page must be viewed as the ideas of an
ordinary student of meditation. While I truly believe everything I
say, you should not believe anything unless you see it, feel it, and
know it for yourself. I make no claims of infallibility. In fact I
absolutely claim fallibility.
Truth is a sword that cuts in all
It is a mind that is unprejudiced by
religion, philosophy, and cultural conditioning. It is going naked in
Please feel free to copy, repost, or publish Osho, Bhagwan Rajneesh,
and the Lost Truth.
suggests links about Rajneesh and the
http://www.religioustolerance.org/rajneesh.htm - Brief overview of
http://www.empnet.com/imageworks/Raj1.htm - A few pictures of the
Osho in the Dental Chair -
Parmartha's article in "Sannyas News" about Rajneesh/Osho's use of
nitrous oxide. The article makes no mention of Osho's massive Valium
intake for over a decade, which probably did more brain damage than the
N2O. One cannot cheat the body's natural systems by taking drugs to
feel good. There is always a heavy price to pay in the form of loss of
healthy brain function.