A Ranch Myth exposed

One common general theory  (met in numerous commentators about the Ranch period), of what happened,  was that Osho was switched off for several years, and “allowed” Sheela/Savita and their gang to “Take over”.  I always had my doubts about this, it does not meet with my intuition.

There is a wonderful (if small) example of how Osho continued to be switched on, and where he knew the facts, actually cut up rough with Sheela and Savita.  It’s all about this hooded cloak and hood.!


At one point late in Poona one, Osho had been reading a “National  Geographic” magazine about the Induit people,  and appeared fascinated by a Chief or Shaman wearing a hood as in this photo. The sewing dept was summoned, given the magazine, and asked to produce such a cloak and hood for Osho.  A little later Osho ordered a special photo shoot session of him wearing this hood and cloak.  However it was never used in Poona one.

But whatever the way of these things, it had a use, by Osho, or by existence, or by Source, or what you will.

Veena who made this cloak and hood considers what followed puzzling, though I would not use that word.

At one point during the Ranch period he summoned Sheela and said that he wanted to chose a picture of himself, which would be special, and that it should then be sent to every Osho centre on the planet and displayed prominently.

He asked for the huge file in which every picture of himself was stored to be brought to him.  Within 24 hours he had nominated the picture he wanted used, a version of the picture above, except that Osho was looking straight into the camera.   Sheela and crew did not like it and proceeded to chose another one. The centres,  and what went in them, was after all their hegemony,  or so they felt and on the whole acted.

Sheela must have had an intuition of what might follow, because the next evening business session with Osho,  she sent Savita instead,  and also to show their choice, arguing that she herself was ill!

Veena who happened to be in Jesus Grove (Sheela’s domicile on the Ranch) when Savita returned on that evening, reports she found Savita shattered.  Apparently she had told Osho the gang did not approve of his choice,  but Osho went into a full blown zen  rage about it.  His approximate words were ” Whenever I do something I do it for a purpose. I have chosen this photo for a special secret reason. You don’t know what levels I am working on when I choose to do or say something. Go back and tell everybody to never again dare to question anything I do or say!”

To those who doubt it,  the picture was indeed then sent to every Osho centre in the world.

Anyone want to have a crack at Osho’s special secret reason?    Was it a device to irritate the donkeys of Jesus Grove ?  ?  or maybe something else?



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42 Responses to A Ranch Myth exposed

  1. Arpana says:

    Osho regulaly remarks he has bring the poison out in us so we can become aware of said poison. By god that happened during those years. Talk about authority baggage. Perpetrators and victims (Inaproprately yes saying.)

  2. swamishanti says:


    It seems that Osho was hinting at some esoteric secret with wearing this style of `Inuit` hat.
    The question is… well what the f*** was it?
    Did Osho wish to display his love of the Eskimo people?
    Had he been reading books about life in the Arctic?
    Perhaps he considered buiding a commune there?
    Aurora borealis?
    The Inuit were a tribal people who hunted seals and whales as a way of life and lived in huts built of ice called Igloos.

    Or perhaps Osho was hinting at the Inuit shamans use of Fly Agaric mushrooms, which they used to feed to reindeer and then get high and trip out after drinking the urine.

  3. Kavita says:

    I don’t think it could just be the photograph of the Cheif or Shaman , maybe that article on Indiut people could have the clue .

    • Parmartha says:

      It seems a little odd that Osho was sat there even reading a copy of National Geographic in 1979…. but yes Kavita, you have a good point, the Induit are an interesting tribe.
      I saw some pictures from 1890 when American explorers first reached and mixed with them. They are indeed very beautiful, and looked very healthy! despite their diet which was entirely of meat and fish! (Nice one for Marty!)
      And yes they had a shamanic tradition, and the shaman not the chief was said to be the most powerful person in the tribal groups.

      • prem martyn says:

        Average life expectancy(please check yourselves ) of about 40-45 before western diet introduced. And they’d smell of fish.

      • Arpana says:

        Osho doesn’t actually mention the Inuit at all, however he mentions Eskimos 72 times, and Inuit is the Eskimo name for themselves, and he mentions them repeatedly because they apparently dont kiss, they rub noses.

        This mentioning began after AIDs took off, and I am only sharing these observations because to muddy the waters even more. LOL.

      • frank says:

        It may refer to a hardback book released by National Geographic in Jan 1979 entitled “The North American Indian”.
        It is a kind of encyclopaedic picture-book with a lot of photos of American Indians.
        (available very cheap on Amazon)

        I will hazard a guess that he was trying to make a point of identifying the persecution of the ranch by the US authorities with the story of the native American peoples.

        Also the Inuit practiced what is known as `open adoption` which is the adoption of babies by others in the clan but simultaneously retaining contact with birth parents. This has some resonance with the ranch`s communal ethos and `better to have 100s of uncles than boring old nuclear family` ideas.

        Of course this is all ludicrously obscure and the idea of Osho throwing wobblers at his staff about photos of himself with `secret meanings` whilst they proceeded to nick the money,poison,intimidate and exploit the presumed benefactors of these `secret messages` is really quite heavily laced with pathos.

        • frank says:

          Oh yes, and the Inuit rub noses instead of kissing!
          That could have been relevant at the time.

          Two Irish junkies are shooting up and sharing a needle in a filthy squat.
          As one passes the blood-dripping syringe to the other he asks
          “Are ye not worried aboat this AIDS thingee?”
          “God no” replies the other “I`m wearin` a condom”

          • swamishanti says:

            Funny, Frank, I had exactly the same thought about the Inuit rubbing noses instead of kissing earlier today, and how Osho may have been in favour of this idea during his ‘safe sex’ stage on the Ranch.

            Didn’t he advise sannyasins to stop kissing as a precaution at some point?
            Rubbing noses doesn’t seem very hygenic to me.

            Still, perhaps Eskimo noses are so cold that they are basically sterile and could do with a good rub.

            • frank says:

              SS, yes, kissing was out because of the idea that saliva could be infected. which turned out to be bollocks.

              One friend suggested that the only safe way to go sexwise was to put on a couple of heavy-duty binliners smeared with KY jelly and vodka and get busy!

              • prem martyn says:

                I always thought saliva on the nether regions meant you’d been dating an Australian Tantrika from ‘down-under’ ?

                ”Its not what you do, its the way that you doinnuit , and that’s what gets results.”

                • prem martyn says:

                  Alternatively use your innuition, but don’t be iglooed to the result.

                • prem martyn says:

                  This article is harp-ooning on old times.

                  Whale , whale whale, what a surprise.

                  I have no reindeer what this could mean.

                  Its not something you learn in i-cicle , that’s for sure.

                  Snow business like Osho business.

                  After the snow-mind group I don’t have a cari-bou in the world.

                • frank says:

                  Quite right Marty,
                  Also, it is pretty clear that Osho was alluding the favourite mantra of wonder frequently sung by Inuit shamans..
                  to be chanted faster and faster till the meaning unfolds….

                  and also,from his seclusion, he was sending a secret message to his sannyasins:
                  “whale meet again…”

                • prem martyn says:

                  Frank , Thanks for the Potlatch Chant.
                  The Who is Inn-uit group lasts all winter, with the repeated Zen question…

                  ‘ Does it still freeze before it hits the ground ?’

        • Kavita says:

          Also the Inuit practiced what is known as `open adoption` which is the adoption of babies by others in the clan but simultaneously retaining contact with birth parents. This has some resonance with the ranch`s communal ethos and `better to have 100s of uncles than boring old nuclear family` ideas. – this could be one of the points which could relate to his photo incident .

          Of course this is all ludicrously obscure and the idea of Osho throwing wobblers at his staff about photos of himself with `secret meanings` whilst they proceeded to nick the money,poison,intimidate and exploit the presumed benefactors of these `secret messages` is really quite heavily laced with pathos.

          - laced with pathos – I doubt, could be a little mischief !

  4. karima says:

    Apparently Savita was’nt that shattered that it woke her up to what she was doing and stop it. I’m wondering why Osho did’nt give Sheela more zen sticks, but let her go on with her own business. I love to sssspeculate on this,so these are my conclusions:
    1) Osho being awake, seeing that Sheela was caught in the dream of power, gave her the rope to totally go on with that, fully knowing,out of compassion, and taking the risk, that any other sannyassin who also would still believe in the dream of power/powerlessness,would be taking in by that. But at the same time he totally trusted that Life would take it’s course when we do’nt intervene. So when the power trip collapsed everybody “got it”, that was the zenstick! The boil had to get ripe!
    2) Osho was not awake, totally identified with the dreamstate, he believed everything Sheela was telling him. Perhaps she told him that everything on the Ranch was getting better and better,this was good news to him,cause life is all about everything getting better and better, not about things getting worse and worse,no he agreed with Sheela that, in order to keep things better and better, you have to be in control and eliminate everything and everybody that stands in it’s way. He totally trusted Sheela to keep that in order so he could quietly go about his business of watching movies and sniffing nitrous oxide. It was then of course such a dissapointment for Osho when every body came to know about Sheela’s power trip, he had to say goodbuy to his lazy life,and damn it,he had to talk again to wriggle himself out of a situation he had cooperated with! And since then,well we all know the rest, rejected by the whole world, coming back to India totally humiliated, still being addicted to nitrous oxide, his body feeling more and more painful ( he said from poisening) from which he finally died, a sad,sad story from somebody claiming he was awake!

  5. prem martyn says:

    ”Meditation is cool …?”

    ”Boys in da hood ?”

    ”Remember to complete the sanity clause in every group agreement even if you’re not naive and don’t believe in sanity claus no more.”

    ”Mush doggggies Wauhhhhffff Wauffff….!”

    So little Red Riding Hood, said ‘ My what big eyes you have Grandma’ .

    ”The truth is obvious, innuit ?”

    ” Its a shaman that there’s no-one else here to be alone with”.

    ”This’ll be a great one for Sannyasnews detectives in thirty years time.”

    • Kavita says:

      ”This’ll be a great one for Sannyasnews detectives in thirty years time.” – that’s more like it !

  6. Tan says:

    For what I can remember, in that time an Osho Center was starting somewhere among the Inuits/Skimos, maybe the photo has something to do with it. And I am not surprised Osho went into a full blown rage about the photo. He never and I mean never allowed anyone to interfere with his spiritual/esoteric life. And he had plenty of it. How do I know? In those golden times I was his brassless Brazilian apsara and Yogi is a witness of that. Cheers!

    • swamishanti says:

      Ah yes, I remember hearing about that eskimo Osho centre, Tan.
      Wasn’t that the one that was rumoured to be a bit outrageous , with lots of nose-rubbing going on, dynamic meditation happening in the snow, and wild- eyed shamans running around singing, “I am the Walrus! I am the Walrus!”. ?

  7. Prem says:

    There is no secret reason. It is very simple.

    The photo is of Osho in a fur coat.
    Newcomers who saw this would conclude that “Osho is not enlightened because he wears the fur of an animal.”

    The photo would have served the same purpose the Rolls Royces or the expensive rolex watches – to put off people who have prejudices.

    • swamishanti says:

      It is not so simple, Prem.
      Rolex watches and Rollers might put people off but many ‘new-agers’, and spiritual seekers are very fond of the native americans and other tribal peoples and will look to them for spiritual inspiration and direction.

      Doesn’t matter whether they’re wearing bones or the cloak of an animal.
      In fact I friends who have spent time living in native american style tipi’s.
      Besides, even the classic Indian yogi’s like Patanjali would use the skin of a deer, to sit and meditate on.

    • Parmartha says:

      And a photo of Osho in the dental chair, with pipes of N2O attached? Now that would have got rid of many!
      But clearly ditched by amazingly both Ranch camps. It is said to be perhaps the one thing that Sheela and Vivek ever agreed on!

      • swamishanti says:

        Osho called in Shiva(Hugh Milne), to take the photo’s of him in the dental chair, didn’t he?
        Who left the ranch soon afterwards.

        Osho stated that stopping talking for a few years gop rid of many people who were around him for the wrong reasons.
        No doubt all the Rollers must have been difficult for some.

        No doubt Osho liked to play with and test people’s reactions:

        “I myself create so many situations. Those who are really authentic, who are ready to work, will have to pass through them. Otherwise they cannot work. The work is in the unknown. It is in that dimension which transcends reason, which transcends sense, which transcends all your understanding.
        If you come to me with your moral attitudes, your traditional-mind attitudes, your so-called knowledge, I will have to shatter it from somewhere. I will have to break it, I will have to make an opening. The opening is always difficult, painful. So I have to create many many situations…
        I create situations. I spread rumors about myself just to see what happens to you. Someone says something to you about me. What happens? You may simply drop me. And it is very good! Now you will not be wasting my time and I will not be wasting yours. If you drop me then it is not your path, you must find someone somewhere else. Then it is good that you have dropped me. But if you remain, if you persist in spite of many repulses, then only can something that is beyond, transcendental, be shown to you, indicated to you.
        Otherwise it is going to be difficult: A person who is bound to his common sense, his so-called common sense, cannot go deep. And deep are the mysteries. The deeper you go, the deeper the mysteries that will be there. You will have to throw all your common sense, all your knowing and knowledge. Somewhere on the way you will have to be empty. Only in that emptiness is the flowering.”

        Osho-the Eternal Quest

        • Parmartha says:

          Yes, SS,
          according to Hugh Milne’s book he was called in to take such photos.
          Though Milne wrote that book whilst having a nervous breakdown, and much of it was not based on his direct experience, so I would read sceptically. Also at the time of writing he was clearly extremely bitter, and such bitterness can invent and embellish.
          Sheela would have destroyed such reels of film: though, if the story is true, one could ask why Shiva did not keep a few, as already by that time his ego was feeling very bitter.
          This was very early on, on the Ranch. I am sure that pics were taken of Osho later in the dental chair by Vivek, as that was the “arrangement” that Osho made, and which overcame her objections to Devageet’s self important note taking.

        • Arpana says:

          I came across this when the shit really hit the fan in the 80s Shanti; and have never forgotten the story. He tells us ‘truths’ indirectly.

          ‘It is true that Gurdjieff was a difficult man, almost impossible to cope with. ‘


  8. swamishanti says:

    I remember Osho talking about Eskimo`s having two hundred different names for snow.

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Hi Swamishanti,
      recommend to you two movies and/ or books:
      1. ´Smilla´sense for snow´danish author Peter Hoeg (1992) later the movie ´Smilla´(2001) a crime story of our times…yet literature…
      2. ´Atannajurat´The legend of the fast runner (movie 2001)

      Both of it and especially the latter, introducing us into the Inuit Culture and history, Shamanism in this area and the latter being written, composed as produced (including the actors by Inuit people.

      Wish you well, to gain some more inspiring insights für snow in all its appearances.

      with love


      Osho´s coat is not made out of fur (of animals)
      “Anyone want to have a crack at Osho’s special secret reason? “, Parmartha asked.
      I don´t want to have any ´crack´on mysteries and secrets; Life is a river and I have a lot to do and a lot to undo to float in This.
      Cracking secrets is out of question.

      • swamishanti says:

        Thanks, Madhu, the films look interesting, maybe I`ll check them out some time.
        As far as shamans are concerned, I feel that they had their place amongst tribal peoples, as healers, and holder`s of ancient mystical traditions, but westerners who attempt to copy them usually fail.
        This is probably because the minds of the modern westerners, and the cultures and ways of life are completely different.

        I always respect the way Osho taught his people to try to the focus their energy solely and totally on meditation , and the search for freedom , and not to get distracted by shamanism, and other psychic phenomena.

        `Snowy` movies I would recommend is the `Dead Poets Society` , with the late Robin Willliams, and also `Fargo` is a movie I enjoyed , which is apparently based on a true story.

    • Tan says:

      Love the poster, SS. I am sure about the Osho Center somewhere with the Inuits and Osho talks about it in one of his books, maybe in the Q&A part. Now, I can’t remember which one. Cheers! X

      • swamishanti says:

        Well I think I know the centre that your’e on about Tan. I was a bit dissapointed when I visited the place, it was freezin cold for a start, and when it was dinner time I was kind of expecting a Shaman wearing some antlers or dressed up in a walrus costume to come out and do some drumming, or some cosmic chanting.

        But nothing like that happened at all, these eskimo guys just came over with a chainsaw, drilled a hole in the ice, and chucked in some dynamite, boom! And the preceded to pull lots of dead fish out of the water.

        And later, whilst sitting round a camp-fire, I was shocked when one of the eski-ladies asked me casually if I wanted to “come into her igloo for a quick rub of her nostrils.”


  9. Parmartha says:

    “Eskimo Joe” is an Australian alternative rock band that was formed in 1997 by Stuart MacLeod, on guitars, Joel Quartermain, on drums and guitar, and Kavyen Temperley.
    Kavyen Temperley was a pupil at the Osho school in the UK called Ko Hsuan (before it closed!) , and whose orientations have been influenced by Osho.

  10. bodhi heeren says:

    Perhaps a little confusing is the fact that this cloak does not look very inuit at all. But as always the topic can get some of the usual anti-Osho statements going so the regulars around here can think they are very clever and imagine that SN is vital and alive ;-)

    As I remember it Veena actually has some intelligent things to say about this. So read her valuable book(s) instead!

    • Parmartha says:

      Surprising comment, B Herren, for someone who recommends Veena’s book, as I always do, by the way. Also given your background, shows lack of the proper habits of study.
      Veena mentions in her book the need for fake fur as Osho would be allergic to real fur.
      She wrote to London, to Sugata, (Vibhuti’s sister), someone known to me, who sent her several samples of fake fur, and Veena then choose the one she thought best.
      Veena used the National Geographic article or book to match the design, so I cant really understand why you say it is not Inuit. Maybe it was individual enough even within Inuit culture, to be particularly appealing to Osho.

  11. bodhi vartan says:

    This is the pic Veena posted in “The Art of Dressing The Master”. According to her she had to import fake fur from England to make one for him. Does anyone have the one where he is looking at the camera?

    • Parmartha says:

      Yes Vartan, I have appealed for this pic before elsewhere.
      It’s strange despite the power and sweep of the internet, like a pic of Osho’s dental chair, it does not seem available.
      I am suprised tht Veena herself did not use it in her articles/books. Maybe it is a copyright thing, which I know she “obeys”.

  12. bodhi vartan says:

    SS, the Robin Williams snowy movie was called “The Big White”.