Osho was a well-known spiritual leader. In this biography, we have given information about the childhood, life and timeline of Rajneesh Osho.

Quick Facts
Famous as
One of the most controversial spiritual leaders and public speakers
Born on
11 December 1931
59 Years
Zodiac Sign
Sagittarius    Sagittarius Men
Born in
Died on
19 January 1990
place of death
Pune, Maharashtra, India
"Never born, Never died: only visited this planet earth between December 11, 1931 and, January 19, 1990."
Saraswati Jain
University of Sagar (1957)
D. N. Jain College (1955)
Hitkarini Dental College & Hospital
Osho Rajneesh
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Osho was one of the most famed as well as the most controversial spiritual leaders of his time. He came to be known as ‘Acharya Rajneesh’ in 1960s, assumed the name ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’ during the 1970s and 1980s and called himself ‘Osho’ in 1989. He was a professor of Philosophy and traveled extensively to various parts of India, giving lectures on Secularism and Gandhi. He institutionalized religion and advocated an open attitude towards sexuality, which landed him in a number of controversies. Founder of Osho International Meditation Center, he devised a number of meditation techniques and came to be known as a spiritual therapist.

Osho was born on December 11, 1931, in Kuchwada, a small village in Madhya Pradesh, India. He was born into the Taranpanthi Jain community. Originally named Rajneesh Chandra Mohan, he was the eldest of eleven children in a family of Jain cloth merchants. At the age of seven, he was sent to live with his maternal grandparents. At his grandmother’s home, Rajneesh was nurtured with full independence, without the hassle of imposed education or other restrictions.
Rajneesh grew up as a very rebellious child. After the death of his grandmother, he returned to stay with his parents. By the time he reached adolescence, Rajneesh had inculcated interest in hypnosis and become an atheist. For a short period, he was associated with Socialism as well as two Indian independence movements - the Indian National Army and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Education, Enlightenment And Public Speaking
After completing his studies at a high school in Gadarwara, Rajneesh went to Jabalpur. In 1951, at the age of nineteen, he joined Hitkarini College in Jabalpur. There, he had a conflict with a lecturer, as a result of which, he was transferred to D.N. Jain College. Rajneesh was spiritually enlightened on March 21, 1953. Following the enlightenment, he went on to finish his studies. He earned his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Jabalpur University, in 1955, and received Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Sagar University, in 1957. Meanwhile, he took part in the annual Sarva Dharma Sammelan held at Jabalpur, organized by the Taranpanthi Jain community, where he initiated his first public speaking. He continued to participate in public speaking from 1951 to 1968.
A Lecturer
In 1957, Rajneesh became a lecturer at Sanskrit College in Raipur. His unconventional ideas about life soon fetched him a transfer, as the Vice Chancellor considered him a serious danger to the morality and character of the students. The following year, he acquired the position of a professor at Jabalpur University, where he taught Philosophy. In the meantime, he traveled extensively across India, giving lectures on Socialism and Gandhi, under the name of ‘Acharya Rajneesh’.
A Spiritual Therapist
Acharya Rajneesh criticized orthodox Indian religions. His bold statements made him a controversial personality. Some people were in his favor, while others went against him. A number of wealthy merchants and businessmen, who were in favor of his ideology, consulted him frequently to seek guidance about their spiritual development and daily life. It was clearly visible from the rapid growth of this practice that he possessed an unusual talent as a spiritual therapist.  
Life In Mumbai
Acharya Rajneesh moved from Jabalpur to Mumbai in 1970. The same year, he introduced his ‘Dynamic Meditation’ method for the first time, in Mumbai, at a public meditation event. On September 26, 1970, he organized an outdoor meditation camp, which comprises of a large gathering of his followers. After a couple of months, he shifted to Woodlands Apartments in Mumbai, where he received visitors and gave lectures. By this time, he had started traveling less frequently and discontinued speaking at open public meetings. He adopted the title ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’ in 1971.
Life In Pune
The climatic conditions in Mumbai proved to be unfavorable for Osho, as a result of which, he developed several health problems. Consequently, he left Mumbai for Pune in 1974. His disciples set up an ashram in Pune, where he taught from 1974 to 1981. Initially, the audio recordings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's discourses were regularly played in the ashram, followed by video recording and printing of the material for worldwide distribution. Over a period of time, the number of Western visitors increased drastically, leading to constant expansion of the ashram. It soon featured an arts-and-crafts centre and included music and theatrical performances. The ashram in Pune is known as 'Osho International Meditation Center' in the present times.  
Public Silence
After giving discourses on a daily basis for almost 15 years, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh underwent a three-and-a-half years of self-imposed public silence in 1981. His discourses were then substituted by satsangs and readings from spiritual works. This phase continued until 1984. Thereafter, he resumed his presentations, but in a limited way.

Life In The United States

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh traveled to the United States on June 1 1981, to get treatment for prolapsed disc. In Wasco County, Oregon he purchased a ranch, then known as the Big Muddy Ranch, and named it ‘Rajneeshpuram’. The ranch measured a massive 64,229-acre and was bought for approximately $ 5.75 million. The money was paid by his secretary, Ma Anand Sheela’s husband, Swami Prem Chinmaya (Marc Harris Silverman). In a matter of a few years the number of followers, staying at the ranch, grew astronomically and the ranch became a community in itself. This community was given the name of Rajneeshpuram and its residents, Osho’s followers, were called Rajneeshees. The construction of Rajneeshpuram proved to be a controversial issue because it resulted in arguments over zoning rules and building codes between his followers and the residents of Wasco County and eventually, with the rest of the State. There was a clash of cultures and the inhabitants felt threatened by the influx of his devotees. As a result, building permits were denied. The conflict soon centered on Antelope, Oregon, since it was the city closest to Rajneeshpuram. More and more deciples of Osho were beginning to settle down in Antelope and got themselves elected straightaway to the town council. Meanwhile, there were allegations that the followers of Osho were involved in illegal activities, like spreading salmonella at a local restaurant; allegations of murder were also made against them.

During this entire upheaval and the conflicts caused by it, Osho Rajneesh withdrew from public speaking and limited his interaction to a handful of followers; Ma Anand Sheela being one of them. He only saw his followers when he would drive by them every day in his Rolls Royce.

The Rolls Royce was also a reason for him gathering more fame. This happening because at its height, the number of Rolls Royce’s bought for his use had reached an absolutely astounding 93 cars. This also gave him the exclusivity of being the only person to have had so many Rolls Royce’s. During his silence, he had provided Sheela with a power of attorney with which she could ‘act on his behalf’, however in 1984, he had a falling out with her and accused her of having committed crimes like attempting to influence elections with bioterror attacks on Dalles, Oregon, attempting to murder his physician, tapping his house and the commune and even attempting to poison a public official, which he invited the authorities to investigate.

Osho’s Arrest
IIn 1985, a federal grand jury indicted Osho on 35 charges, among which were charges against him regarding him having concealed intentions about settling in the US and charges of having his deciples enter into marriages of convenience to get US citizenship. He plead guilty to the some of the charges and was awarded a suspended sentence, a penalty of about US $ 400,000 and asked to leave the country and not return for a minimum of 5 years.
Return To Pune
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh reluctantly decided to leave for India, after the episode in the United States. It was at this time that he decided to change his name from to Osho. After staying in Himachal Pradesh for six weeks, he traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal and then moved to Crete in Greece. After being refused by a number of countries, Osho returned to India in 1986. In January 1987, Osho moved back to his old ashram in Pune, where he resumed his discoursing. This was followed by the continuation of therapy courses. Osho formulated several meditation techniques during this time. The ashram was renewed and expanded, this time in a less controversial style.
Osho breathed his last in the year 1990. It was stated that heart failure was the cause of his death. His physicians hypothesized that he had been poisoned by radiation and thallium in the United States and that he must have slept on his right side on a deliberately irradiated mattress, as his symptoms were concentrated on the right side of his body. However, his followers had no evidence to support the hypothesis.



Chandra Mohan Jain Aka Osho Rajneesh is born in Kuchwada, Madhya Pradesh.


Joined Hitkarini College in Jabalpur and later D. N. Jain College.


In March of 1953, he claimed to have become spiritually enlightened while sitting in Devtal garden in Jabalpur.


Completed his B A in Philosophy from D N Jain College and enrolled in the University of Sagar.


Completed his M A in Philosophy from the University of Sagar.

1958 - 1960:

taught philosophy at the Jabalpur University as a lecturer and later as a professor.


Started 3 to 10 day long meditation camps. His popularity also started growing around this time meditation centers started emerging that followed his teaching.


Gave a lecture series that was later published as "From Sex to Superconsciousness".


Introduced people to his Dynamic Meditation for the first time and also initiated people into his first group of disciples known as neo-sannyasins.


Adopted the title of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.


Moved to Koregaon Park, Poona due to deteriorating health conditions.

1974 - 1981:

Taught at the Poona ashram


Vilas Tupe, a Hindu fundamentalist, made an attempt to end Osho’s life.


Due to growing tensions around the Poona ashram, it was decided to shift to the United States of America.


Osho moved into “Rancho Rajneesh” formerly known as “The Big Muddy Ranch”; a 64,229-acre ranch bought for $ 5.75 million bought by Swami Prem Chinmaya aka Marc Harris Silverman.


Ended his withdrawal from lectures, which was also called a period of silence which had been started by him in disapproval of the unpleasantness that his growing fame was causing with the local communities around his ashram.


Osho returned to India on 17th November 1895. Six weeks after returning he left India and went to Kathmandu since the visa for some of his non – Indian followers had been revoked.


After months of traveling around and being denied entry to various countries, he finally came back to India on 30 July 1986.


Osho returned to the Poona ashram and started giving lectures on evenings when he was healthy. He also claimed that his ill health was probably due to being poisoned by the authorities during his stay in America.


Started concentrating his discourses on Zen.


Adopted the name Osho Rajneesh. Osho is the short form of this name.


On 19th January 1990 Osho Rajneesh died at the age of 58.

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Books About Osho Rajneesh

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