Osho As A Mythological Figure, by Nityaprem

Nityaprem explores…

So lately I have become interested in mythology, and I’ve started with the American professor of literature Joseph Campbell. Pretty much the first stop of my journey was the television documentary series ‘Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth’, which is now freely available on YouTube in its entirety. I’ll just link the first part of the six part series here, for your convenience:


Now it struck me that Osho as an enlightened master is also a mythological figure. He fits the archetype of the spiritual teacher who goes forth, attains to enlightenment and is transformed thereby, and sets out to teach the world, bringing new light and a relief from ignorance. Even the happenings at Rajneeshpuram fit this mould.

It is a form of the hero’s journey, where the hero sets out to retrieve an elixir from the underworld, and through various tribulations eventually succeeds to share it with the world. Without the tribulations it wouldn’t be as powerful a myth. Prometheus retrieving fire is another such myth, ‘Star Wars’ is famously based on the hero’s journey, there are many.

It is very similar to the Buddha, who goes forth with the goal of ending suffering, learns to meditate, is tested and attains enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, and in the end brings enlightenment back to share with the world.

I doubt wether Hollywood will make a movie about the myth in this century, but perhaps at some point when America comes to embrace its counterculture it will happen.




This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

139 Responses to Osho As A Mythological Figure, by Nityaprem

  1. Lokesh says:

    Shanti claims, “There are still powerful forces afraid of Osho.”
    I wonder who those powerful forces might be. Perhaps Shanti could illuminate this by naming these powerful forces and describing how those forces’ fear manifests in concrete terms.

    It is interesting to note that Shanti delated the post on this thread that I am referring to. Why do you think that might be?

  2. Nityaprem says:

    “Strange, that religious people are against drugs; politicians are also against drugs. Politicians make laws against drugs, religious people create hell and punishment against drugs.

    Why are they so afraid of drugs?

    It needs a deep search, investigation. They are afraid of drugs because drugs are competitors to them. LSD can give you hallucinations of heaven. That’s the trouble. No religion can afford to allow people to use LSD. LSD is not dangerous; taken in the right proportions, under medical care, it can be tremendously helpful in religious growth.
    But religions are not ready to allow it for the simple reason that if LSD can give you a beautiful experience – hallucinatory, but still it is an experience and tremendously satisfying, fulfilling – then just promises will look like dry bones without any juice in them. Only idiots perhaps may continue to chew the dry bones.

    Drugs are dangerous to religions for the simple reason that they are their greatest competitors. And even better drugs can be invented, but religions continuously cripple the research.

    Drugs can give you dreams, and properly used, can help you to see many things in yourself which in psychoanalysis will take three years, four years; then too it is not certain that you will be able to see.”

    (Osho, ‘From Darkness to Light’)

    I came across this piece some time ago, and I don’t think even Terence McKenna so clearly explained the reasons behind the so-called War on Drugs. I think Osho hit the nail on the head with this, although McKenna was very clear on why it is not beneficial for people or society.

    • Lokesh says:

      Great quote, NP. I immediately copy and pasted that into the manuscript for the new SN book. It fits perfectly into the second chapter as a concluding statement. Thanks

      • Nityaprem says:

        Yes, he certainly was prophetic in this, if you look at the current research being done into psychedelic-assisted therapy. It’s nearly forty years later and science is catching up.

        There was a seminal book written by Michael Pollan called ‘How to Change Your Mind’, which I have finally gotten around to buying. It was released in 2019 and is about the religious and medicinal uses of psychedelic substances. Fascinating stuff with big implications for the legal status of these substances. A NYTimes bestseller too.

        But on the one hand they are moving towards legalising, and on the other hand they are trying to close loopholes against designer drugs which are, for example, close relatives of LSD. It’s a crazy world…

        • satchit says:

          NP, you seem to be really a bookworm.

          I thought the article goes about mythology, but I see only comments about drugs.

          Maybe somebody can explain what’s wrong with you?

          • Nityaprem says:

            Why should anything be wrong, Satchit?

            The article is about mythology, my post below is about mythology, feel free to let us know your thoughts…

          • Nityaprem says:

            Drugs are rather on my mind at the moment Satchit. I’m only interested in the psychedelics but people in my immediate surroundings are forcing me to have some difficult conversations prior to trying some. But I just keep chipping away.

            Mythology is just a fun subject. Osho *was* a man of mythical dimensions, lecturing from his chair, with that sense of stillness about him.

            • satchit says:

              Yes, NP, we can call Osho a mythical person if we want.
              But I guess we do it because we are Sannyasins, nobody else will do it.

              Somebody did delete my comment from last night – strange!

              Restored now, Satchit.

            • VeetTom says:

              I saw a “living photo” of Osho (acid animateed) It was around 1978 from a Sannyas Newsletter my sister gave me. She got it on a hitchhiker’s lift. One year later I drove to Poona. (She never met Osho).

              What does “acid animated” mean, please, Veet Tom?

  3. Nityaprem says:

    If you look at the photographs taken of Osho, there is a kind of stillness to them, I get a definite mythic vibe from them. I think Osho was naturally a kind of heroic figure, and that is part of his appeal in India and in Nepal.

    But there are various aspersions cast against his virtue: his liking for luxury, his sexuality, the nitrous oxide use… these are all things we do not usually associate with gurus. Yet they are all very ordinary human characteristics. Most westerners drink copious amounts of coffee, which contains a hefty dose of caffeine, also a drug which influences the brain.

    In a way you could argue that the societal values which work against Osho are disappearing in modern times, and this wil lead to a re-evaluation of his contribution to the zeitgeist. Osho and his sannyasins were ahead of the times.

    • Lokesh says:

      Yes, NP, the conclusion you reach in the above comment is probably accurate.

    • simond says:

      Hi Nityaprem,
      Thanks for your contribution again.

      Regarding the mythology of Osho, there’s certainly a lot of it about amongst Sannyasins. His stillness, his vibe, was all about creating an image of him, a public image that suited his status as the top Indian guru of his time.

      My sense is that whilst his talks have been collated and remain popular to new people, the need for a mythological figure is somewhat outdated, at least in the West. We don’t want or need authority figures of this kind any more. We’ve seen how authority is corruptible and how religious and political figures have manipulated us. We need the truth more directly, more intimately, although I appreciate such more real, down-to-earth figures are difficult to find. It’s coming….

      • Nityaprem says:

        That’s very interesting, Simond…certainly Joseph Campbell thought western society still needs myth, and in a way his collaboration with George Lucas on ‘Star Wars’ proves that the mythic stories still have power.

        Today there is so much story around that the truly mythic stories which have an element of soul to them almost get lost in the dross. But people still connect to story, as exemplars for the true parts of their lives.

        If you are right in saying that today our mythic figures should come from true stories, more documentary than fiction, then maybe the story of Osho’s life could serve as a template for one such.

        • simond says:

          I’m not sure how Osho’s life serves as a template for anything mythological. I try to see him as human, fallible, intelligent, charismatic, but I don’t look at him in myth, I use my own intelligence and discretion to judge him.
          I did my hero-worshipping a long time ago and, thank goodness, saw though the image.

          • satyadeva says:

            In his later years (or was it at the Ranch?) Osho seems to have co-operated in this image deconstruction by declaring himself and his people as “friends” rather than being traditional ‘master and disciples’. Another instance of him seeing which way the wind was blowing, well in advance.

          • Nityaprem says:

            Maybe this idea needs a few thousand years to mature ;)

            Osho the Man can definitely inspire Osho the Myth, but perhaps he is only meant for the Indian masses who watch the Bollywood version.

      • Nityaprem says:

        As far as authority figures go, I totally agree with you that the internet has served to undermine politics and religion both, as much as Osho did in his day and to a wider audience. But are mythological figures also authority figures?

        You could say that the Greek gods were sources of priestly authority in that time, but were heroes such as Odysseus or Hercules? I think probably not. It was more the case that their stories spoke to the soul, to that which Jung called the Anima. Which is why these stories prove enduringly popular and have survived all this time…

        I think in modern times there is even more of a need for soul in people’s lives. That is why so many people are drawn to Ayahuasca, to feel the Mother’s influence in their lives.

        • simond says:

          You suggest people are drawn to Ayahuasca to feel the mother’s influence.
          I’ve done the adventure, as you know, there is so much written and said about the Mother, and Ayahuasca that I’d suggest that until you have taken it to beware of the new age nonsense that is spouted around about the experience.

          As with all myths, they serve the purpose of making people feel the goal is always around the corner.

          • Nityaprem says:

            Well I’m slowly inching closer to trying something of this set of substances, people I am close to had some shocking experiences with themselves trying these things out and these traumatic memories are coming out when I bring the subject up… it’s complex.

            But what I am hearing is that Ayahuasca trips have for many of the younger generation become a route into healing trauma, finding direction, a kind of shamanic spirituality which is about connecting with something greater. What used to be a six-month-long guru trip to India has now become a 10-day Ayahuasca retreat in Peru or Costa Rica.

            It seems a lot of the young people have listened to Terence McKenna’s talks from Esalen in the 1990’s where he described his trip to India, saying that the spirituality to be found there was as “venal and debased as anything that could be found in the west”, and that he preferred to commune with the plants after taking a heroic dose of mushrooms.

            I think it’s great that you did the Ayahuasca trip Simond, and that you wrote about it. I don’t think I would approach Mother Ayahuasca in the same way as you did though. I think these plant spirits defy easy definition and if you try to approach them as if they are human you are likely to be lost in the veils.

            The beautiful thing about psychedelics is they can put you in touch with soul, they can temporarily lift you up out of the thinking habits of mind.

      • Lokesh says:

        Hi Simond, good to see you back after a couple of months break.

        You have been in my thoughts due to me working on the manuscript for a second SN book and going over your past comments, some of which are very good and worthy of publication.

        Recent articles contain mostly comments from myself, NP, Shanti and SD, and, of course, Satchit, if I need to lighten up the reader’s experience with something daft.

        Hopefully you will now continue to write a bit on SN to keep the vibe alive.

        I have put together four chapters and need around sixteen more. So any new input from the regulars is most welcome.

        • simond says:

          Thanks Lokesh, I don’t always get round to reading the site, and often have nothing to say in response to some of the comments.

          I do like how NP has provided some new input and of course your own writing is often inspiring. But as the previous article highlighted, women and new correspondents aren’t easy to find.

  4. Nityaprem says:

    I find it interesting how in for example India people still seem to live with myth, in the form of gods and heroes, like the stories of Hanuman and Ram and Arjuna, epics like the Bhagavad Gita, while in the West people don’t really tell eachother stories anymore. That role seems to have gone to the media.

    Today’s storytellers are film makers or authors or photographers, and the stories we hear are remote from our communities and families. The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan famously said, and the medium of reading type or watching a movie is no longer the same as hearing a story told around a campfire.

    So are our myths today what is told in the movies and books and comics? I think in a way it is the case. Look at the superhero films which have become so popular since the release of Iron Man in 2008. Often these feature an ordinary person who is called to adventure, given special powers and an enemy to defeat. They are very mythic, but only children see them as role models.

    When I grew up it was with Donald Duck and Paulus the Forest Gnome (a Dutch set of stories). There were no real heroes in my upbringing. Although I was influenced by stories of scientist heroes in Dutch comic books.

  5. Nityaprem says:

    “Look at the sky: spring comes and the whole atmosphere is filled with birds singing, and then flowers and the fragrance. And then comes the fall, and then comes summer. Then comes the rain – and everything goes on changing, changing, changing. And it all happens in the sky, but nothing tinges it. It remains deeply distant; everywhere present, and distant; nearest to everything and farthest away.

    A sannyasin is just like the sky: he lives in the world – hunger comes, and satiety; summer comes, and winter; good days, bad days; good moods, very elated, ecstatic, euphoric; bad moods, depressed, in the valley, dark, burdened – everything comes and goes and he remains a watcher. He simply looks, and he knows everything will go, many things will come and go. He is no more identified with anything.

    Non-identification is sannyas, and sannyas is the greatest flowering, the greatest blooming that is possible.”
    (Osho, ‘Tantra: The Supreme Understanding’)

    I think I am just ending my ten-day break from all things spiritual, but I have noticed something. To move deeper into these things I need to spend more time with these teachings. For Osho it’s easy, a few sentences in a discourse and finished! But for me, I can meditate for weeks or months on each small paragraph before it becomes clear to me what it means to my inner being.

    • satchit says:

      It becomes clear and then you forget it again.

      Panta rhei – everything flows.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I don’t know if you quite got it, Satchit. The Osho quote was pointing out what stays unchanging in a sannyasin, like the skydome against which the heavens show themselves. That quality of being a watcher, just witnessing.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Hahaha, you joker Swamishanti…me editing remotely, why would I do that? SD moderates everything very well, there is no need.

        • satchit says:

          Sounds great, NP.

          But how can you call yourself a “sannyasin” if non-identification is the goal?
          Is this not also an identification?

          • Nityaprem says:

            It is interesting that there is such a thing as a sannyasin indeed. But some people are ‘natural sannyasins’, they carry the attitude and the flavour by themselves. So maybe it’s just something you are, not something you think.

            • satchit says:

              “Gurdjieff used to say that only one thing is needed: not to be identified with that which comes and goes. The morning comes, the noon comes, the evening comes, and they go; the night comes and again the morning. You abide: not as you, because that too is a thought – as pure consciousness; not your name, because that too is a thought; not your form, because that too is a thought; not your body, because one day you will realize that too is a thought. Just pure consciousness, with no name, no form; just the purity, just the formlessness and namelessness, just the very phenomenon of being aware – only that abides.”


  6. Nityaprem says:

    Interesting, there is a Brazilian YouTube channel collecting stories with sannyasins, called Historias Com Osho, and they’ve now done 138 stories, which is quite a few, including a fair few in English. Now that Love Osho is no longer available this might be a place to have a look…


  7. Lokesh says:

    I’m currently exploring the vaults of Sannyas News in search of material for the new SN book. I can’t help but notice the difference between how this site was at its peak and how it is now, a shadow of its former self.

    This has not only to do with the decline in good commentators. It also concerns the fact that, over the years, SN has covered almost everything about Osho’s life, his sannyasins and the ups and downs, the ins and outs, of the contemporary search for a deeper meaning in life. That is quite something. What a library of interesting comments, articles, insights and whacky humour to delve into. Ultimately, I think this site might have been inadvertently created for posterity.

    Of course, it’s not all good. Similar to reading Osho’s books, it is sometimes necessary to wade through the mud to get to the gold nuggets. Fortunately, there are quite a lot of them to be found. I wonder if SN will one day rise like a phoenix to fly again or if we are nearing the end of the road. Only time will tell.

    • simond says:

      I think you make a good point about the site. It’s covered many of the issues, concerns, joys and magic of Sannyas and Osho and there’s very little new to say about it all. Once upon a time, it was a far more real focus for sannyasins to ask questions of the “cult” we had fashioned or were a part of.

      For some commentators Sannyas and Osho is still as relevant now or even more so, but for others whose memories go back to the 1970s the whole nature of Sannyas is now largely irrelevant. My feeling has always been to let go of the past, and so many current debates about Osho are simply of no real interest.

      Many commentators have disappeared, some are dead, and it seems far better to let it all go rather than regurgitate debates and ideas whose time has also gone.

      • Nityaprem says:

        Would you really call Sannyas a ‘cult’, Simond? It never felt like that to me while I was growing up in the midst of it. I know there has been this whole thing of cult education in the meantime, and I’ve read ‘The Guru Papers’ at Lokesh’s recommendation, but to me it was a spiritual movement, something new and now still fresh, bringing new life to many traditions that had gone before.

        For me, sannyas came along in my childhood, then I paid it no mind for about 20 years, and then my life changed, and I found it again like a diamond that had been sown into my pocket all this time. Osho has left a lifetime’s worth of discourses, darshan books and meditations for those of us who seek them out. He is not yet part of history.

        It seems to me the past still lives in us if we choose to let it. We can choose to let it go, or we can choose to keep the flame burning. It is totally a personal thing, whatever you feel the most comfortable with, but I think the world could do with a little more Sannyas.

        • swamishanti says:

          There used to be a sannyas forum called ‘Rebellious Spirit’, with lots of contributors.

          Then there was this American guy, Christopher Calder, who also thought he had been in a cult and now he had seen out of it. He was very angry with Osho, couldn’t see past the Rolls Royces, thought they were about greed, a very simple- minded guy, and he had completely lost his trust in Osho, thought he was misbehaving, should have stayed with the traditional Indian guru model. At least the model that fit with his Christian conditioning that he was brought up with.
          He saw Osho as an authoritarian figure, he had not learned how to stand on his own two feet. He was still stuck, in the camel mode of fitting into society.

          He kept telling people, “you’ll never get out of it.”

          Everyone just laughed at it and his pea-sized brain and limited understanding of Osho.
          Some argued with him. Rebellious Spirit was very different to SN, there where hundreds of contributors.

          Then he spent a lot of energy trying to trash Osho on the internet, running on the hamster wheel of being angry with Osho. Writing lies, choosing particular qoutes completely out of context.

          I knew a sannyasin who, during the time when Osho was still in the body, was actually captured, kidnapped by an anti- cult group who tried to convince him that he was ‘brainwashed’. He probably tried to explain some of the benefits of being with a master and managed to escape.

          • Nityaprem says:

            All a bit before my time with forums I’m afraid. I remembered hearing about Christopher Calder somewhere, and just read the old rebuttal argument against his writings here on SN, which seems to be one of the things most often read about him on the internet. It was top of the search rankings!

            But interesting too to read the argument against Sannyas being a cult, that Osho contradicted himself too often for there to be a consistent ‘teaching’ out of which a cult could be made.

            • Lokesh says:

              In many ways, I see that the sannyas movement ticks most of the boxes in a ‘What represents a cult?’ questionnaire.

              So what? If nothing else, it demonstrates that a cult can be fun.

              • Nityaprem says:

                The presenters of the ‘A little bit cultish’ podcast who are both ex-cult members would agree with you.

                But I think there is a key difference between Sannyas and a cult, and that is with Sannyas you were always free to leave and do your own thing. Even sannyasins wouldn’t usually hold it against you.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Yes , there was a tremendous freedom that Osho gave, that most other spiritual groups actually don’t have. And if they do have freedom, they still have gurus who are not deprogrammers like Osho was, they think with the old mindset, the old conditionings, old religious trips.

                  The freedom he gave was also heavily abused and betrayed by Sheela and her circle , those in power during the Ranch episode.

                  Now there are conspiracy theories around his death and young Indians and Nepalis are being sold a bullshit story that rather than Sheela and her group using poisons , the group of Westerners close to Osho, may have intentionally poisoned him, or planned to assassinate him, these were some of the same people who wrote books in his defence, after the collapse of the Ranch, books which the mainstream publishing houses refused to accept so have not been widely read, whereas the books by ex-sannyasins turned US agents have been and are still being widely circulated by the CIA and many control freaks, with the old religious conditionings, who are afraid of the type of freedom he gave.

                  I am no particular supporter of either the Inner Circle policies or the other groups of ‘rebel’ Indian/Nepali sannyasins I am completely independent but that is how I see it.
                  Open minded Roman Catholics wrote in support of Osho to the US government in 1983. He can be called the ‘master of masters’ just by the amount of support and letters from various religious groups he received.

                  I understand that there were powerful forces which wanted him dead and their are sannyasins who suspect Roman Catholic/Christian involvement from a high level and even penetration. And no-one wants penetration from strict Roman Catholics.

                  To some Roman Catholics Osho is still a major problem.

                  But really the devil they fear is mostly just a projection of their inner suppressed desires.

                  But Osho would easily be able to tell if any undercover agents who living physically close to him and he even pointed out various CIA agents who had attempted to infiltrate the Ranch.

                  But, without any love affair with Osho, without any inner connection, without being nourished by his presence, it is difficult to understand devices and after you left he could feel like an authoritarian figure to you, it could appear like a cult you had been in, with the various power trips.

                  Obviously outsiders can understand none of that.

                  Especially also those who are used to just intellectual teachings from spiritual teachers, and instructions.

                  But the control freaks , are also afraid of that kind of freedom , living without the ‘Lord of Control’.
                  ‘Telly Song’ Here and Now : https://youtu.be/CP-ajydq1d4?si=j2-4ANpHx8Y2eBst

                • swamishanti says:

                  ‘Tibetan Ukrainian Mountain Troupe. ‘

                • swamishanti says:

                  And the control freaks were freaked out by the display of Rolls Royces.

                  Which is understandable. But Osho knew that would wind people up and he liked doing that and it also made sure that those people who where not really interested in him wouldn’t bother coming near him or give them a good excuse to leave.

                  But Deva Peter also ended up spraying them with psychedelic colours:

              • Lokesh says:

                I think Osho liked driving Rolls Royces because he was bored with having to deal with so many nutcases.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Don’t forget, he was also using psychedelic drugs. Which could also explain behaviours such as collections of Rolls Royces, and later ideas of experimentation with anarcho-communism on remote paradise islands.

                  Just like when The Beatles began using psychedelics, we can see developments such as better music.

                  ‘Tommorow Never Knows’, ‘Strawberry Fields’, ‘Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘The Yellow Submarine’ and John Lennon painting his Rolls Royce in psychedelic colours, and began becoming interested in groups such as The Hyde Park Diggers groups of squatters, and also gifted Sid Rawle his private island of Dorinish of the coast of Ireland to use as a commune.
                  That was before the days of the Peace Convoy.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Sounds rather like wish fulfilment on your part, Shanti, making the Master fit a particular image that conveniently happens to gel with your own predilections and preferences.

                  I love The Beatles and no doubt they owed much to acid etc. but to so confidently assume such intimate connections betweem what significantly fuelled their personal expansion/musical prowess and Osho’s mischievous Rollers obsession and his wish for a remote commune far away from interference from troublemaking governments and media is simply inappropriate, implying that Osho needed the drugs as much as they did! In so doing you downgrade Osho the great mystic and spiritual Master while raising the Beatles to a level they don’t deserve, however wonderful they were/are.

                  Do you not recall Osho’s comment on the death of John Lennon, something like, “He was a very nice guy, but he died completely unconscious.”?

                • Lokesh says:

                  SD, you are mistaken. I know many people who did psychedelics and then wished to have a Rolls Royce collection. Joking apart, good psychedelics will show you what utter bullshit materialism is, because you will be shown that you do not need anything on the outside. You already have the best that life has to offer in abundance.

                  I recently watched an interview with John Lennon. He confessed to having had dozens of bad trips. He could also be a mega egotist…”I’m a fucking genius, and if you can’t see I am a genius, you can fuck off!”

                  I recently read something by Sheela, where she described how Osho suddenly got it into his head that he wanted 30 new Rolls Royces within a month because he was bored and how he went behind her back to try and acquire them. She also described Osho’s bad moods after his rows with Vivek. Sounds pretty human to me.

                  During the peak of Osho’s obseession with the limos, there was no need for Osho to create devices to separate the wheat from the chaff. Many old sannyasins left the commune during that time because they saw how out of control and nuts the situation was. Mass poisonings, murder attempts of commune members and so forth. None of this had much bearing on my life at the time because I had some severe problems to deal with closer to home and what was going on with Osho in the USA was of no concern to me.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Satyadeva. I was writing a not so serious post.

                  “In so doing you downgrade Osho the great mystic and spiritual Master while raising the Beatles to a level they don’t deserve, however wonderful they were/are.”

                  No, I don’t believe Osho needed drugs to fuel his creativity. He was always a highly creative man.

                  But as far as the Beatles are concerned, their foray into Eastern mysticism and psychedelia certainly improved their music a lot, in many
                  opinions anyhow. And you don’t need any drugs to appreciate it.

                  Some Britisher straights were unhappy with the changes in their favourite pop group, the Fab four, the longer hair, colourful clothes, a different style of music that they had never heard before and couldn’t understand.

                  But to music critics, their music is far superior after their phase of experimentation with psychedelic drugs , meditation, and never ending hippy phase. They reached new heights never heard before, a new level of maturity, and inspired many other bands. Revolver, Strawberry Fields, Sergeant Pepper, The Yellow Submarine and the Yellow Submarine movie.

                  Some would also say the same of Osho.

                  In my homeland India, datura is a plant only advanced babas can use to reach other planets. It is not for the masses. Likewise, nitrous oxide canisters should only be consumed by an Osho.

                  The psychedelic Rolls Royce joke worked well at helping some to move on from Osho. It was make or break time. Some couldn’t handle or get it. A bit like the straights who couldn’t handle the new sound of the Beatles.

                  Other Indian gurus who fit their religious preferences like Papaji could still be found.

                  Sheela is not at all a reliable source of information and will bend the facts as she sees fit. She is now being used by Indian propagandists and put all over social media to try to pull Osho down.

                  “In India, datura is a plant only advanced babas can use to reach other planets.”

                  “Planets” or ‘planes’, Shanti?


                • satchit says:

                  “She also described Osho’s bad moods after his rows with Vivek. Sounds pretty human to me. During the peak of Osho’s obseession with the limos, there was no need for Osho to create devices to separate the wheat from the chaff. Many old sannyasins left the commune during that time because they saw how out of control and nuts the situation was.”

                  For me the question is: Has he lost his “enlightenment” or not?

                  Did he become human and bored like anybody else?

                  If not, the “out of control” thing is still a device.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Satchit, you make the mistake of assuming it’s impossible for an ‘enlightened’ person to make a mistake. Which doesn’t imply he/she isn’t profoundly rooted in their inner being and beyond, it simply means on a certain level they are fallible. A clear example is how Osho couldn’t effectively handle being in the West.

                  This isn’t too hard to understand. After all, would it be a surprise if Osho was useless at football, or sewing, or playing the drums, or learning Arabic, etc? Similarly, he’d had no prior experience of living in the West, so handed over control of the Ranch commune to a person hugely unsuited to the job, with disastrous consequences. That’s not ‘crazy wisdom’ or anything like it, it’s just inexperience in an unfamiliar environment.

                  Explaining everything away by the catch-all term “device” is being dishonest to the truth, and frankly, rather laughably gullible. But people will sacrifice their good sense, even their basic common sense in order to hold on to their childish fantasies that fuel the need for an all-knowing, infallible authority figure. You of all people here surely don’t need reminding of that?

                • swamishanti says:

                  Satchit, he did not lose his enlightenment, he was actually speaking from a greater distance from the body. He spoke about moving ‘beyond enlightenment’. He reached the tenth bull of zen.

                  That is actually one of the reasons his talks slowed down towards the end.

                  Osho didn’t just talk about ‘devices’ and never employ them. Those who are the real gullible ones are those who have fallen for the devices he did employ. People are easily led, as all government propagandists , politicians and salesmen are aware.
                  But devices wouldn’t work unless masterly employed.

                  Those who were put off by devices, such as SD and Lokesh, like to hang around and complain about it. They would prefer the old Osho from Pune One that fits their ideas and conditioning ,of how a guru should behave. But they never even visited Osho in Pune Two. The ego has to try to feel superior in some way and in their case they like to imagine others who stayed with Osho are gullible and they know better.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Shanti, you misunderstand and misrepresent me. I have not said Osho ‘lost his enlightenment’, I am saying he could make mistakes on a certain level of existence. Claiming I was “put off by devices” is just gratuitous nonsense, but some of what you term “devices” I say were simply errors.

                  Enlightenment does not automatically confer infallibility on every level of life. To imagine otherwise fulfils a need but it isn’t the truth.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Shanti says, “Don’t forget, he was also using psychedelic drugs.” If you are referring to N2O use you are mistaken.

                  Although there is some overlap with the effects of nitrous oxide and classic psychedelics, nitrous oxide is not considered a psychedelic. It must be taken into consideration that towards the end of Osho’s life his talks slowed down due to him having to take a lot of painkillers. When you watch those talks, brilliant though they were on occasion, one can’t help noticing that he appeared to be stoned on something, and I don’t think it had anything to do with being enlightened.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Actually it does produce psychedelic as well as hallucinogenic effects.

                  I know many make the mistake of thinking that Osho’s talks slowed down because of painkillers or drugs. But that is not the case.

                  Sometimes the talks were a bit slower because of drugs, but they were already slowing down anyway. Any drug user will get used to the effects of any drugs over time and they will not effect the speed of the speech.
                  Listening to the later talks, even from the World Tour, it is clear that is just how his body had become, slower and more detached.

                  Even in one of his very early talks, Osho spoke about how the body of an enlightened one slows right down towards the end of his life, as the enlightened one becomes more detached, as the wheels of the bike , which stop being pedalled after enlightenment slow right down and stop before death. He spoke about three phases, three types of energy of the enlightened being, the first being when he spoke very quickly, in the early days, the middle phase, say Pune One when his speech began to slow down, and then, the end of the Ranch , World Tour and Poona Two when it was much slower.

                  This process of gradually slowing down is mentioned in one of his earlier talks.

                • satchit says:

                  SD, for making a mistake you need a goal.

                  I doubt there was a goal.

                  The Ranch was a play, like building sandcastles at the seashore.

                • satyadeva says:

                  More simplistic nonsense, Satchit.

                • satchit says:

                  Sorry, SD, it is the truth.

                  The whole Sannyas stuff is based on play or call it goalless goal and you talk of mistakes. Funny ????

                • satyadeva says:

                  That’s the sort of statement that sounds so convincing to a certain type of unenlightened mind, like yours, Satchit. Coming from an Osho might (or might not, depending on the context) be one thing, coming from you it’s just another lazy, borrowed slice of pseudo-spiritual nonsense.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Yes, SD, I was talking to Satchit. About devices I was talking to you.

                  Mistakes are not the same as devices, although his mistakes can work as devices.

                  Osho definitely made mistakes, and some big ones. Only part of being human.
                  And he took a lot on.

                • satyadeva says:

                  OK, Shanti, it seems we can at least agree on his mistakes. It’s also worth acknowledging that Osho often referred to himself as “an ordinary man”, not ‘superhuman’, despite his enlightened consciouness. Yet people like Satchit choose to forget this in favour of making him into a figure that fulfils the fantasy they think they need to feel ‘safe’, to feel able to trust.

                  Perhaps that might be harmless enough in an individual, serving a certain purpose, although there’s a potentially sinister collective aspect, seen at the Ranch in how people felt they had to trust Sheela & co. as she represented Osho’s will, and indeed any totalitarian regime, notably Hitler’s Germany of course.

                  By the way, which “devices” do you think I disapprove of? Or is the point that what you regard as “devices” you believe I think of as mistakes? Perhaps you could be clear about exactly what instances you’re referring to.

                • satchit says:

                  Now this is really mean of you, SD.

                  Me, a lazy, unenlightened mind?

                  Fact is, Osho is not, only Existence is.
                  So Existence made the mistakes. Can we agree on this?

                  But my intuition says it is still a play.

                  Maybe you are just too serious?!

                • satyadeva says:

                  “Fact is, Osho is not, only Existence is.”
                  No, Satchit, we can not agree on this, it’s just unhelpful nonsense when we’re talking about certain practical matters where he was out of his depth.

                  And I guess it was only a matter of time until you played the “too serious” cliche card. Do you realise you’ve become a cariacature of yourself at this forum?

                • satchit says:

                  It’s nothing new that you want to tell me that Osho made mistakes, SD.

                  Maybe you should ask your mind why this is so important for you that you are right in this?

                  Personally I don’t care if he made mistakes or not.

                • satyadeva says:

                  It’s only important if you actually care about what enlightenment is and what it isn’t, Satchit, ie if you want to be clear about what to expect from the person whom you choose to be your master, teacher, spiritual friend.

                  Also, if you care about whether you’re gullible, prepared to believe any old convenient tosh, or not.

                • satchit says:

                  I don’t think that I ever expected something from Osho.

                  He lived his life.
                  I live my life.

                • satyadeva says:

                  I find rhat hard to believe, Satchit. Why did you join his movement then?

                • satchit says:

                  “Why did you join his movement then?”

                  Because Osho wanted me to join it.

                  I still remember, it was an Irish guy who brought me the invitation.

        • simond says:

          Hi Nityaprem,

          Yes, I’d consider Sannyas a cult, in the same way that we are all in a cult of one form or another.
          Whether that disturbs you or anyone is what’s important, as everyone likes to think they are a real person, with their own free will, bound by their free choices. Is it true or false? How much free will do you really have? Aren’t you part of a cult that believes it can act to be free?

          Cults are just group herdlike thinking and you’re a part of one, whether you recognise it or not.

          The Sannyas cult herd mentality believed in many, many things, in the authority and wisdom of the Master, for example.
          It believed in “enlightenment “, in spiritual progress, in red beads, in ashrams, communes.

          Now, you may say there was no harm in this or any other grouping, but until you acknowledge any group as a cult of sorts, you can’t see truly beyond how cultish we all behave. We are largely led to the slaughter, led to believe all sorts of nonsense, and a cult is the name for any group of believers.

          The more we investigate our own part in the many many cults we are part of, the more free we become. But let’s not mislead ourselves we remain in the cult of the living, the cult of ignorance for most of our lives. Death brings us the relief and the knowledge that everything was ultimately a lie.

          • satchit says:

            Things are simple, Simon.

            If you believe Sannyas is a cult, then it is a cult.

            If you believe Sannyas is no cult, then it is no cult.

            • simond says:

              I don’t see it as a matter of belief. Beliefs are always false, so if you believe Sannyas is a cult, or not, it makes no difference. Beliefs are ideas, and all ideas are false.

              Better to explore and be honest to one’s beliefs, learn to see through them as far as we ever can.

              I always sense we are in a matrix, so utterly taken over by beliefs that we can hardly see any truth at all.

              • satchit says:

                With “believe” I meant a strong way of thinking.

                We create our world with our thoughts, is it not?

                A sannyasin will not say he is a member of a cult, too negative.

                He will say he is part of a community, Sangha.

                Maybe. Or he will say he walks alone, he is not part of a group.

                Different ways of thinking…the matrix of thoughts.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Satchit asks, “We create our world with our thoughts, is it not?”

                  Only partly. No need to overestimate the power of thought. If a a gang of drunken Hell’s Angels breaks into your home and decide to gang-rape you just for the hell of it, would you say you created that with your thoughts? Of course, you would not.

                • satchit says:

                  Lokesh, we can not create our outer world with our thoughts.

                  We can not make some drunken gang disappearing or the sun shine with our thoughts.

                  But we can create our inner world with thoughts and we can be aware that our thoughts come and go.

                  That we are neither this nor that.

          • Nityaprem says:

            If you use a wide definition of what is a cult, then pretty much any movement starting from spiritual beliefs can be called a cult. But I think in the stricter and more denigrating definition, the sannyas movement had quite a few characteristics that separated it from most common cults.

            Yes, people like to have social confirmation, we like to feel that we do as others do, and that we are not going to be singled out and beaten up because we are different. In that way, cults are everywhere…

            Yet sannyas was for me an affair of the heart, we walked for a few decades with Osho and let his wisdom shower on us. It doesn’t really matter if others call it a cult…you call our behaviour cultish but in what way is the rest of the world not cultish, just in different ways? Fashion is a cult, science is a cult…

            Seeing the world as cults is a way of dividing the world, the work of the mind. I find it is better to focus on the things that bring us together, rather than what sets us apart.

            • Lokesh says:

              A cult is a group of people defined by a “religious” devotion to something — often a self-appointed leader. Most people view cults as strange and frightening, mostly because cults have, over the years, done some strange and frightening things, including murders and mass suicides. Sometimes, too, you’ll see cult used as an adjective to describe something or someone with a small, devoted fan-base. John Water’s movies are cult favourites, adored by a select group of film lovers but not by the public at large.

              There are two ways to define a cult. The first way to describe a cult is popular in the secular media. From this perspective, a cult is a religious or semi-religious sect whose members are controlled almost entirely by a single individual or by an organization. This kind of cult is usually manipulative, demanding total commitment and loyalty from its followers. Converts are usually cut off from all former associations, including their own families. The Hare Krishnas, the Family of Love led by Moses David Berg, and Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church are some examples of this kind of a cult.

              The process by which people are eventually freed from their cult delusions rarely seems to be accelerated by the interventions of well-meaning outsiders. Those who embed themselves in a group idea learn very quickly to dismiss the scepticism of others as the foolish cant of the uninitiated. If we accept the premise that our beliefs are rooted in emotional attachments rather than in cool assessments of evidence, there is little reason to imagine that rational debate will break the spell.

              Academic research has revealed a more fluid and varied reality than the one advanced by the anti-cult movement. In fact, many people who join a cult choose to leave it. Other members of cults do not become entirely isolated from society, maintaining jobs and relationships outside the cult. In addition, some studies have suggested that those who leave a cult and experience psychological damage are more likely to have left involuntarily. A wide range of religious groups fall under the definition of cult, and the vast majority are benign or even have a positive impact on society, like the neo-sannyas movement.

              • Nityaprem says:

                Aha! Here we go: is the anti-cult movement not also a cult? But seriously, these are more rigid definitions of what is a cult, and you can choose to use them, and be dragged along in the anti-cult movement’s narrative.

                I don’t think letting them frame the debate is particularly helpful, because it stirs up witch hunts. Instead, consider what’s a healthy spiritual movement and what is not. That at least allows for a healthy way to congregate for spirituality, rather than merely saying “all cults are bad.”

              • Nityaprem says:

                It’s interesting though, I was watching the Joe Rogan Podcast with Louis Theroux about Scientology from a few years ago, and you could certainly argue that Scientology is a cult.

                However — even that cultish an organisation is doing good for some people; in the podcast they had various examples of celebrities saying the Scientologists had gotten them out of addiction. Which means that even an organisation which demands total loyalty can do good.

                I reckon the whole cults discussion still has some distance to go, and that Sannyas will turn out to have been one of the most benign.

      • satchit says:

        “Regurgitate” is a funny word, Simon.

        It depends of you if something is regurgitating.

        Yes, the whole life is regurgitating.
        In the morning we wake up and in the evening we go to sleep. And then again, in the morning….
        Holy shit!

    • Nityaprem says:

      I’ve certainly enjoyed reading back through some of the old posts, going to about 2015, and getting to know people like Parmartha, Shantam Prem, Anand Yogi and Arpana through their contributions. It has a wide range, that is for sure.

    • satchit says:

      “Ultimately, I think this site might have been inadvertently created for posterity.”

      Seems you are searching for the meaning of this site.
      Maybe it has none.

      I wonder why now a second book?
      Did you sell much of the first one?

      I suggest a new subtitle: ‘The Gospels of Luke’.

      • satyadeva says:

        Parmartha, SN’s co-founder and editor until he passed away in 2018, was clear that he wanted SN to be preserved for posterity as he felt, despite (or maybe even partly because of) its imperfections, it represents a unique ‘grass roots’ record of the experience, concerns, views, conflicts etc. of Osho lovers and fellow-travellers, that might well be of interest and a source of entertainment to future ‘seekers’ and possibly even some religious historians.

        • Lokesh says:

          Now you are talking, SD. That might fit into the intro to the book. Excellent.

          • Lokesh says:

            Here is how your comment will appear in the dedications. Any feedback most welcome.

            “Parmartha, Sannyas News co-founder and editor, until he passed away in 2018, was clear that he wanted the site to be preserved for posterity as he felt, despite (or maybe even partly because of) its imperfections, it represents a unique ‘grass roots’ record of the experience, concerns, views, conflicts etc. of Osho lovers and fellow-travellers, information that might well be both of interest and a source of entertainment to future seekers and possibly even some religious historians.”

            Satyadeva, Sannyas News Editor, 2024

            Lokesh, I’ve slightly altered the last bit by including “information” to make it flow better. But it’s your work so it’s up to you.

        • swamishanti says:

          Great. But we know that many of the original comments, including Parmartha’s, have disapeared, been edited or altered. Religious historians would have to bear that in mind.

          • Lokesh says:

            Funnily enough, I was just thinking about “some religious historians” this morning. It sounds a bit stuffy so I will change it to ‘researchers’.

            Yes, Shanti, in the darkness of the vaults I came across a few comments of mine that had been tampered with to make them look really nasty. Who cares? Still plenty of good material, including yours and Parmartha’s comments. Finding some interesting subject matter and it is fun, but time-consuming work. My way of putting something back into the pot.

          • satyadeva says:

            You say “many”, Shanti, but more important would be the percentage of high-quality posts of the last 15-plus years that have been thus attacked.

      • Lokesh says:

        Searching for the meaning of this site?

        I think it is more a case of injecting your own meaning into it, which is something you, Satchit, are hopeless at. The best you can come up with is a bit of prodding, in the hope that you will provoke an emotional reaction from someone.

        Suggested reading: ‘The Genie of Emotion’ by Barry Long. Educate yourself and maybe then you will be able to produce something that will be a little more satisfying.

  8. Lokesh says:

    Shanti, you write, “Sheela is not at all a reliable source of information.”

    Okay, that does have its pros and cons, but she did know Osho a lot better than most, including you and I.
    So, having established that, who would you say is a reliable source of information concerning what Osho was really like behind the scenes? It is a difficult question because many who were close to Osho became disillusioned and left or like Vivek, simply died.

  9. Nityaprem says:

    Satchit said: “I never expected anything from Osho. He lived his life. I lived my life.”

    I don’t think it’s true to say our lives are as disconnected as that. When I grew up around Osho and his sannyasins there was certainly a mutual connection, I was learning from him together with everyone else and he was passing on wisdom from the chair. That was life in the commune.

    Today, it’s different. We no longer have the commune, but we have the internet. You can immerse yourself in his books and discourses on OshoWorld, you can chat with sannyasins here on SN, you can catch up on the latest on OshoNews. You can absorb and contribute, and add a little meditation in the home or in a centre.

    The times of travelling to Bombay and being physically close to Osho have gone, but we are still connected to him.

  10. Lokesh says:

    I don’t believe Satchit is very interested in what anyone has to say to him. It is almost impossible to get any kind of response out of him that goes beyond some tired cliche, served up in a couple of lines. Why is that, do you suppose? My guess is that he leads quite a boring life and does not have many friends. His presence on SN is little more than a feeble effort to get some attention. If he gets that he is content to play ping pong until the other writer becomes tired of it.

  11. Nityaprem says:

    Have you ever examined your own reactions while reading an Osho book? For example, when he talks about being natural I find a kind of reaction going on, like an inner monologue, which goes, “I can be natural…what are the barriers to being natural? Let’s eliminate them…we are coming closer to being natural!” It is like the mind is trying to make happen what Osho is pointing at.

    Of course this is largely mental gymnastics, at most I feel temporarily a bit blissed afterwards and not permanently changed. But it does point to a certain commitment to Osho…he said at one point “you shouldn’t believe me, otherwise you will get into trouble”, but I am quite a sincere and honest person, and so maybe I will have trouble.

    Have you ever tried to examine your own process in this way?

    • swamishanti says:

      “Trust simply means that you have understood the neurosis of doubt, that you have understood the misery of doubt, that you have understood the hell that doubt creates. You have known doubt and by knowing it you have dropped it. When doubt disappears, there is trust. It is something of a transformation within you, your attitude, approach. Trust knows no contradiction.

      When I tell you to trust me, I am simply saying that a certain climate has happened to me: have a glimpse of it. Come, let that climate surround you also. Let me vibrate in your heart; let me pulsate around you; let me throb in the deepest core of your being; let me resound in you. I am singing a song here – let it be echoed so that you can know that, “Yes, the song is possible.”

      Osho: ‘Yoga and the Omega’

      “The relationship between the disciple and the guru is a relationship of intimate trust. That doesn’t mean blind faith, because the guru never expects you to believe in him — that is not an expectation. But the very nature of the unknown is such that you cannot go a single step further without trust. Trust is required of the disciple because he will not be able to take a single step into the unknown without trusting the guru. The unknown is dark, the field is uncharted — it is not bliss, it is not the ultimate — and the guru is always saying, “Jump into it! Do it!” But before you can jump, trust is needed, or you will not jump.”

      ‘The Great Challenge’

      • swamishanti says:

        “Prem Prageeta, trust is possible only if first you trust in yourself. The most fundamental thing has to happen within you first. If you trust in yourself you can trust in me, you can trust in people, you can trust in existence. But if you don’t trust in yourself then no other trust is ever possible.

        But the basic trust is completely destroyed. And then all other trusts are phoney, are bound to be phoney. Then all other trusts are just plastic flowers. You don’t have real roots for real flowers to grow. The society does it deliberately, on purpose, because a man who trusts in himself is dangerous for the society — a society that depends on slavery, a society that has invested too much in slavery.

        And this society depends on belief. Its whole structure is that of autohypnosis. Its whole structure is based in creating robots and machines, not men. It needs dependent people — so much so that they are constantly in need of being tyrannized, so much so that they are searching and seeking their own tyrants, their own Adolf Hitlers, their own Mussolinis, their own Josef Stalins and Mao Zedongs. This earth, this beautiful earth, we have turned into a great prison. A few power-lusty people have reduced the whole of humanity into a mob. Man is allowed to exist only if he compromises with all kinds of nonsense.

        Once you start feeling this tremendous respect and love and trust of the whole in you, you will start growing roots into your being. You will trust yourself. And only then can you trust me.

        Only then can you trust your friends, your children, your husband, your wife. Only then can you trust the trees and the animals and the stars and the moon. Then one simply lives as trust. It is no more a question of trusting this or that; one simply trusts. And to trust is simply to be religious.

        That’s what sannyas is all about. Sannyas is going to undo all that the society has done. It is not just accidental that priests are against me, politicians are against me, parents are against me, the whole establishment is against me; it is not accidental. I can understand the absolutely clear logic of it. I am trying to undo what they have done.

        I am sabotaging the whole pattern of this slave society. My effort is to create rebels, and the beginning of the rebel is to trust in oneself. If I can help you to trust in yourself, I have helped you. Nothing else is needed, everything else follows of its own accord. “

        Osho ‘The Book of Wisdom’

        • Nityaprem says:

          “My effort is to create rebels, and the beginning of the rebel is to trust in oneself.”

          Beautifully said. Does to trust in oneself mean one shouldn’t trust in others? Many people don’t have the insight of an Osho, to decide who to rebel against, and they end up just accepting.

          A real rebel to me means someone who is critical, who examines things closely, who is robust in challenging others’ opinions. In a way, sannyasins weren’t really that kind of people, that I can remember anyway, they just chose to follow Osho. But they still followed.

          • satchit says:

            “Many people don’t have the insight of an Osho, to decide who to rebel against, and they end up just accepting.”

            I think here you are wrong, NP.
            Osho did not understand “rebel” as being against something.

            For him the rebel was for something, for the individual.

            Following one’s energy.

            • satyadeva says:

              But Satchit, your explanation is itself incomplete as the term ‘rebel’ implies opposition to something, usually an existing authority, which for Osho and sannyasins it meant rejecting many conventions of belief and behaviour in favour of another way, primarily, as you suggest, based upon the integrity (not forgetting the responsibilty) of the individual.

    • satchit says:

      Yes, NP, these thoughts can happen while reading Osho.
      The Buddha-nature is natural and the mind tries to manage it. But it will not function.

      Only by watching thoughts it might happen.

      Btw, is “commitment to Osho” not also only a thought?

      From Shanti:
      “The most fundamental thing has to happen within you first. If you trust in yourself you can trust in me, you can trust in people, you can trust in existence. But if you don’t trust in yourself then no other trust is ever possible.”

  12. Lokesh says:

    Satchit states, “The Buddha-nature is natural and the mind tries to manage it.”

    Sounds profound. Satchit, could you please explain what exactly that is supposed to mean?

  13. VeetTom says:

    As a rare guest I cannot find a thread starting of my choice here. I will have to comment on new or old discussions presented by the admin. This editor is the master here. What to do? No way out!

    In facebook I would do a headline like: “Osho’s most loved movie.”
    Yes, it is too new for that, but it shows so many influences since Osho’s days and other modern influences to say it is HIS WORK – at least Sannyas-like India-travellers must be convinced that easily.

    You may already know this movie? On the surface it’s only Bollywood, but behind the curtain it is true spiritual art and truth with funny scenes and backgrounds…

    1.I googled ‘Bhagwan’ & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6SutyLlzws

    2. So I had to look deeper, but only found a version with English sub-titles first, that – I thought – was enough to dig it.
    I (and Osho ;-) fell in love with it:

    3. For Germans only – the best translation yet – revealing many more details – but with poor resolution:

    Enjoy! Not Interested?
    Try another musical excerpt first:
    (You will get it later on why he goes for holding hands, not sex).

Leave a Reply