Osho’s Grandmother

Hereditary and Environment in Osho’s Upbringing

Osho considered that his grandmother on his mother’s side was from Greek ancestry, and would have been from a genetic stream from when Alexander came and conquered part of Northern India some 300 years BC. It is said that Alexander actively encouraged those who wished to in his army to settle in India, as this would help colonisation.
Some genetical research supports this as up to 15 per cent of male line DNA in North Indian studies  has common cause with Greek DNA. And furthermore not all the Greeks came with Alexander, according to some historians, Greeks had travelled to India for hundreds of years before that.
Osho’s grandmother according to his own description was very unusual for the time. She had not married until the age of 24, and this was because of her father, Osho’s great grandfather.  He was a poet/shaman/tantra type who lived in  Khajuraho. She was his only daughter, and he simply refused all suitors. If she were to fall in love, yes, then of course he would allow.  According to her, she had many suitors, but she refused them all, including the rich,  because she did not see the light she was looking for in their eyes.  Until she met Osho’s grandfather, who was an ugly man, but had the right light.

Osho used to call his grandmother nani and he lived with her most of his boyhood. He even used to accidentally call her mother as she played that role in his life.
He said of her
“I never saw a more beautiful woman than my nani. I myself was in love with her, and loved her throughout her whole life. ”

She was beautiful as often that word in India is used, because she was a little white, and had that Greek ancestry, and she had grown up strong without male depredations in her own girlhood.  She lived until 80, a very good age in India at that time.

When her husband died the whole of Osho’s father’s family urged her to come and live with them. But she was not that type, she found a small house for herself, and lived there alone.

Osho said of her

“She helped me in every way to be the way I am. Without her I may have been a shopkeeper or perhaps a Doctor or an engineer because when I passed the matriculation my father was so poor, it was difficult for him to send me to university. ”

In fact Osho’s father refused to try and borrow the money to simply fund what he called a hobo, and to study philosophy….  but Osho’s grandmother interceded and said to him, you go and study whatever you want, and she constantly sent him money for his studies.  Her last payment of money to him was on the morning she died, and that exhausted her bank book!  What synchronicity!

Osho described himself as “only having one game” from when he was very young. It was a Greek one – to argue – about everything!  Clearly we have a lot to thank Osho’s grandmother for.


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7 Responses to Osho’s Grandmother

  1. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    “Clearly we have a lot to thank Osho’s grandmother for.” (Parmartha)

    Yes, Parmartha, yes.

    And I would like to add (it’s rather not about the arguing stuff but more about the opposite of “arguing about everything”) my eyes have been in wonder seeing the strengths in the pic added and thank you for this.

    With love,


  2. Parmartha says:

    Hello Madhu,
    Thanks for responding.

    Yes, I take your point, she apparently did like to argue herself, but that would not have been the whole of what Osho got from her. The unconditional love, and her wisdom over giving the boy freedom was vital.

    The picture is the only one that I can find of Osho’s grandmother. It may be there are others. If so, please post them. Thanks.

  3. shantam prem says:

    Parmartha and Madhu, may I request you to write a joint appeal to Osho Foundation International to bestow status of Saint to Master´s grandmother posthumously.

    • Arpana says:

      You are jealous because they don’t share your delusion of how important you are. They are, sensibly, indifferent to you.

    • satyadeva says:

      Let no one be fooled, the above is simply dripping with the most profound irony! Shantam has no time for dead grandmothers, however admirably heroic, however much the catalyst for his master they might have been.

      They’re no use to him, he’s after their grandkids and their great-grandkids – female only, of course…

      The dirty old git!

  4. bodhi vartan says:

    Last year there was an article on Greco-Buddhism on Osho News (nothing new that cannot be found on Wikipedia).


    A number of tribes in what used to be Northern India but is now Pakistan or Afghanistan claim descent from Alexander’s armies. One particular aspect of these tribes is the freedom that their women have.

    The free women of Kalash:

    Legacy of the Indo-Greeks:

    • Parmartha says:

      Thanks, Vartan.

      Clearly, a lot more traffic and trade, including trade in philosophies and architecture etc. than is generally appreciated.

      Those free women of Kalesh in Pakistan…My God, what a risk those people must now be taking, surrounded by Islam.