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.
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 RAJNEESH TIMELINE
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.
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.
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.