From his childhood in India, Osho made it clear that he would not follow the conventions of the world around him. He spent the first seven years of his life with his maternal grandparents, who allowed him to have a freedom to be himself, what rarely happens to children. He was a lonely child, who preferred spending long hours sitting quietly next to a lake, or exploring the surrounding areas alone. The death of his maternal grandfather, he said, had a profound effect on his inner life, making him to be determined to uncover the immortal life. After joining the growing family of his parents and getting into school, he was firmly grounded in the clarity and sense of himself, which gave him the courage to challenge all attempts by the elderly to shape his life.
He never ran away from facing a controversy. For Osho, the truth can't make any concession because otherwise it would be no longer the truth. And the truth is not a belief but an experience. He never asked people to believe in what he said, but instead, he asked them to experience and realize for themselves if what he was saying was true or not. At the same time, he was relentless in finding ways and means to reveal exactly what beliefs are -mere consolations to soothe our anxieties when facing the unknown and the barriers to meeting a mysterious and unexplored reality.
After his enlightenment, when he turned twenty-one years old, Osho completed his academic studies and then spent several years teaching philosophy at the University of Jabalpur. Meanwhile, he travelled throughout India giving talks, challenging orthodox religious leaders in public debates and meeting people from all social positions. He read extensively all he could find to expand his understanding about the contemporary man belief systems and psychology.
At the end of the 60s, Osho began to develop his active meditation techniques. The modern human being, he said, is so burdened with the antiquated traditions of the past and with modern life anxieties that they need to go thorough a deep cleaning process before being able to discover the relaxed and no-thought state of meditation.
He began to conduct meditation camps throughout India, delivering speeches to the participants and personally guiding meditations developed by him self.
In the early 70s, the first Western people began to hearing about Osho, and they joined the growing number of Indians who were initiated by him in the neo-sannyas. In 1974, a commune was established around Osho, in Pune, India, and soon, slowly, a large number of Western visitors joined. Many of them were therapists who faced Western therapies limitations and sought an approach that could reach and transform the depths of human psyche. Osho encouraged them to contribute with their skills to the commune and worked closely with them to develop therapies within the context of meditation.
The problem with therapies developed in the West, he said, is that they are limited by attempting only to treat the mind, while the East has long ago understood that the mind itself, or rather, our identification with the mind, that is the problem. Therapies can be useful - as well as the cathartic stages during meditations developed by him - to help people to have a relief from their repressed emotions, fears and to be more clearly connected with themselves. However, unless we begin to let go of the mechanisms of the mind and its projections, desires and fears, we will get out from a hole to go straight into another one. Therapy, therefore, should go hand in hand with the process of de-identification and watchfulness, known as meditation.
In the late 70s, the Poona community hosted the largest center for therapy and inner growth in the world. Thousands of people came to take part in therapeutic and meditation groups, sitting to hear Osho's daily speeches and to contribute to the commune life. Some of them returned to their countries and established meditation centers.
From 1981 to 1985, the commune experience happened in the United States, in a region larger than two hundred square kilometers in the high desert of Oregon. The main purpose of the commune life was to build the city of Rajeeshpuram, an "oasis in the desert". In miraculously short period of time, the community built houses to five thousand people and started to reverse decades of damage - due to the land overuse- restoring streams, building ponds and reservoirs, developing a self-sufficient farming and planting thousands of trees.
In Rajneeshpuram, meditation and therapy programs took place in Rajneesh International Meditation University. The modern facilities built for the University and its welcoming environment made possible the depth and expansion of its programs which was not possible before. Long-term courses and training programs were developed and attracted a large number of participants, including many who were already professionals, but they wanted to expand their skills and understanding of themselves.
At the end of 1985, however, the opposition from the local and federal governments to Osho and the commune made impossible for the experience to continue. The commune was shut down and Osho headed for a world tour, giving interviews to the press and speeches to disciples in the Himalayas, Greece and Uruguay before returning to India in mid-1986.
In January 1987, Osho settled down in Poona, giving a speech two times a day. Within a few months, Poona community started offering programs full of activities and grew much more than before. The modern standards of comfort established in the United States was maintained and Osho made it clear that the new commune of Poona should be an oasis of the twenty-first century, even in the underdeveloped India. More and more people came from the East, particularly Japan, enriching the healing and martial arts programs with their experiences. Visual and performance arts also flourished together with the new Mystery School. The diversity and expansion was reflected in the name Multiversity, chosen by Osho, which included all programs.
The emphasis on meditation became even stronger - this was a theme constantly approached by Osho in his discourses, and he developed and introduced many new meditation groups, including No-Mind, Mystic Rose and Born Again.
About nine months before leaving his body, Osho dictated the inscription for his Samadhi, the marble and glass crypt that have his ashes. Osho - Never Born - Never Died - Only visited this planet Earth between December 11, 1931 and January 19, 1990.
The commune that grew around him is still flourishing in Poona, in India, known nowadays as Osho International Meditation Resort, where thousands of seekers get together throughout the year to participate in meditations and self growth programs.
"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to be ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life."
"I'm not a logical, I am an existentialist. "I am not a logician. I am an existentialist. I believe in this meaningless, beautiful chaos of existence, and I am ready to go with it wherever it leads.I don't have a goal, because existence has no goal. It simply is, flowering, blossoming, dancing - but don't ask why. Just an overflow of energy, for no reason at all. I am with existence."
"I'm not a logical, I am an existentialist."
"I am not a messiah, and I am not a missionary. And I am not here to establish a church or to give a doctrine to the world, a new religion, no. My effort is totally different: a new consciousness not a new religion, a new consciousness not a new doctrine. Enough of doctrines and enough of religions! Man needs a new consciousness. And the only way to bring consciousness is to go on hammering from all the sides so that slowly, slowly chunks of your mind go on dropping. The statue of a buddha is hidden in you. Right now you are a rock. If I go on hammering, cutting chunks out of you, slowly, slowly the Buddha will emerge".
"Osho is an enlightened master who is working with all possibilities to help humanity overcome a difficult phase in developing consciousness."
"Osho is the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ... He's obviously a very effective man, otherwise he wouldn't be such a threat. He's saying the same things that nobody else has the courage to say. A man who has all kinds of ideas, they're not only inflammatory-they also have a resonance of truth that scares the pants off the control freaks."