In the latest Viha Connection, which SannyasNews always recommends people subscribe to, Arun tells a revealing early story that says nothing for Jainism!
Osho came from a Jain family so during the early days after His enlightenment, the Jain community thought that they had a wonderful orator who would advocate and spread Jainism.
So the father-in-law of Indu Jain of the Times group invited him to speak at a Jain conference in Delhi, which was to be held for two or three days. All the renowned religious speakers were invited. As per the rules of the Jain community males and females were accommodated separately in different buildings.
Osho was not famous at that time and was a lecturer at the Jabalpur University, but he was as outrageous and outspoken as he was later. They introduced Osho as a young charismatic Jain youth, and said that he was unmarried and celibate. On the first day he gave a very good lecture. In that conference there was a lady professor from Benaras Hindu University. After the lecture she asked Osho if she could talk to him. She said to Osho that she was very interested in what he had to say and his open-mindedness, and wanted to talk to him in detail.
But due to his hectic conference schedule she did not get time to meet Osho, who was then known as Acharya Rajneesh. So when she persisted several times, Osho said to her, “Why don’t you come to my room where I am staying, and in the evening when the programs are finished you can talk with me in my room.”
But according to the Jain rules, women were not allowed in the men’s block, especially after sunset. Even today there is still this rule among Jain communities that young unmarried couples cannot meet each other after sunset.
Osho was staying in a two-room suite, and as in the second room a bed was empty she asked Osho if she could stay there and talk to Him. Osho said that if she had no objection, then He also didn’t have any problem with her in that room. The lady was courageous; she brought her bag and settled down in that second room. That annoyed the organisers because it was against the Jain traditions.
So they objected and said that it was not possible. They asked her to move to the female block. Osho objected, “If she is ready and I am ready, then why are you worried?”
They said that it was against their community and would only be bad publicity for the community. Osho replied,
“When we both don’t care about our respectability, then why are you so concerned and afraid?”
The organisers did not agree and forcefully shifted the lady’s luggage to the female block. This made the lady very angry, and Osho also didn’t like it. Osho said to the organisers, “When you spoke of me from the podium
you glorified me as a great renunciate and celibate, now you think that I will lose my celibacy if you leave me in the same apartment with a woman. This shows that you are hypocrites, I am not a hypocrite.”
The organisers said that no matter what Osho said it was not possible to allow them in the same suite. Then the lady said she was personally insulted and she would leave the conference. Osho also decided to leave the conference – and they both did.
The following day the papers published a story with the headline “The Sensuous Saint,” in which they wrote that Acharya Rajneesh had left the conference because he was not allowed to stay with an unmarried woman. In normal thinking this was seriously bad publicity at that time in India, for Acharya Rajneesh and also the people closely associated with him.
(SN adds: However over the next year more and more people attended, both Jain and non Jain, to the various places up and down India where Osho spoke. Maybe that is why Osho always said there was no such thing as bad publicity!)