Philanthropy in Sannyas?

Buddhas behind Bars

For Years Dhanyam and Avinasho of Viha Connection have created a connection with prisoners in American jails.  Of which we are told there are many. Some statistics put the population for American jails at something like 1 in 100 of the entire population….   but philanthropy in sannyas?

Dhanyam says: For the last 15 years Osho Viha has been listed as a spiritual resource for prisoners. We have shipped hundreds of Osho books and the Viha Connection magazine to all States.

As a result many prisoners have taken sannyas, many have changed direction of their lives, and now have a future to look forward to. Some have bought Osho books, subscribed to Viha Connection, and even sent me birthday cards. We receive many beautiful letters of appreciation for our work. Below some letters of appreciation previously published in Viha.

52 Years on this Earth

Thank you very much for the Viha Connection magazine and for the Osho books. Both were filled with sublime teachings that I have been sharing with everyone. In fact, after I’ve finished sharing them with the people in my block I donate them to the chaplain for others to enjoy. This is a very big step for me because my whole life I’ve been extremely possessive, both materialistically and in my relationships.

I have learned so much from Osho’s teachings about life, love, joy, and compassion that I’m like a little kid experiencing life for the first time.

Thank you again for helping me become a caring and loving person for the first time in my 52 years on this Earth.

Alan Chrzanowski

A Wonderful Encounter

Dearest Viha,

It was a wonderful encounter with I Am the Gate. I have reread the book twice already, and I am sure I will do so many more times – much lies within its pages. I would have been too young at the time when the book was written, yet I know I would have bowed down at Osho’s feet. I see that happening even now, some 40 years later.

D. Coulter

Asking for an Osho pen pal

I love to study Osho’s teachings. His words have helped me grow in many, many ways. I am currently in a state prison in Florida serving a life sentence for crimes I committed as a teen. I haven’t given up hope of being released, so I am taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Osho showed me how to find wisdom in everything.

Is there anyone who wouldn’t mind writing back and forth with a young man of 33 who has dedicated himself to growing spiritually in an ugly place? Osho’s words have assisted me in seeing beauty everywhere, even in here. I am strong, optimistic, I laugh, I’m perfectly comfortable with my uniqueness, and I allow people to be themselves. I love genuine people. That’s what is inspiring me right now to ask for an Osho pen pal. I imagine devotees of Osho to be real, fearless, and full of love.

Hector Vendress

Tears of joy

Dear Dhanyam,

Having just received the packet of items you sent, I had to write you immediately. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to be so very thoughtful and considerate. It really means a lot to me.

When I saw that you had given me my sannyas name, I wept tears of joy. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that it shocked me just how much this affected me. After reading The Buddha Said so many times and understanding the importance of becoming a sannyasin, I’ve never felt so alive and even jubilant in the knowledge that a transformation occurred at the very moment I read your words. But more than anything, I felt a love pass through my being that can only be the love of Him. To anyone else hearing this I might sound crazy, though I am certain that you understand completely.

I always believed that I would never reach the point in my life I’m at now. Hearing Osho’s words for so many years, I wanted to be where I’m at now, and yet I didn’t think I’d get here. I didn’t even realize I had truly entered the stream, and yet I had.

I look forward to what the future holds, and I am so grateful to be a part of Him and this family.

Love, Sudheer (Derrick A. Hecox)

An offering

Dear Dhanyam and Avinasho.

Enclosed herein please receive $101 as an offering to the Viha Connection, realm of Osho.

Transcendental and oceanic love of Osho will keep finding its path to reach divinely thirsty through Viha Connection or in other ways.

Warm Regards, Authentically,

Kanwal Singh Hundal

AND: A few years ago Deva Premal and Miten did a concert at San Quentin prison near here. As a result, the prison library stocked up some Osho books for the prisoners. – Osho Connection fundraiser:

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49 Responses to Philanthropy in Sannyas?

  1. shantam prem says:

    Viha Connection people are heart-centred disciples; any master can feel proud to have such people around.

  2. Kavita says:

    I think & feel philanthropy is best when kept a secret.

    I guess, to each their own.

    Anyway, All The Best to Dhanyam and Avinasho.

  3. preetam says:

    Isn’t every master a philanthrope? Lot of inspiration and understanding is needed – to go beyond world’s fascism. The quantum leap from rotten fascism into a society of understanding.

    • satyadeva says:

      Preetam, did you have a particularly dreadful, “rotten” childhood, where you felt totally misunderstood, unloved?

      • preetam says:

        SD, Nasruddin’s laughter maybe are tears of despair for our here and now.

        • frank says:

          Philanthropy has no place in Osho`s vision. Osho was totally against charity. His message was clear:
          Look after number one at all times, cos if you don`t, who will? There`s a zen koan for you.

          Don`t take any shit from these guys and don`t let them stop you from turning within and saving a bit of cash while you`re at it.

          Here`s a good instructional video if you want to understand the nuts and bolts a bit better:

          • preetam says:

            Frank, right now I don’t know if you are little ironic, because I have tendencies to being a bit autistic. But yes, let’s keep an eye on the essential and follow its lessons.

          • Kavita says:

            Immediately after the 1993 Latur (Maharashtra ) earthquake I remember hearing in the Poona commune that Osho, when alive, had asked his IC /management team to donate towards natural calamities.

            Of course, I do not know if it’s true or if it is followed even now.

  4. swamishanti says:

    It’s not any kind of church that’s important it’s meditation and enlightenment and there have been quite a lot of cases of sannyasins doing time which gave them time to go inside and see the light.

    Satyam Nadeen, serving a long sentence for manufacturing mdma in his mountain lab, started meditating in prison and starting reading books by Ramesh Balsekar, and began to awake.

    Pravasi, who produced a huge amount of “Orange Sunshine”, which Timothy Leary said was the finest acid available, was finally caught and ended doing time, where he began meditating and inner tripping.

    God Dieux, from what I remember of reading some of his book online, got caught smuggling drugs to make a quick buck somewhere in the Far East and ended up in a Japanese prison, where he sat mostly in solitary confinement on a large box and meditated all day.

    He also now claims enlightenment.

  5. shantam prem says:

    I also want to do some philanthropy by distributing Tantra Lectures to porn stars! I am sure they will do much more honest justice to “fxck your way to Bliss” than so-called stealers selling a false hope.

    • Kavita says:

      So now finally are you declaring you are a Tantric?! May Existence bless you more!

      • shantam prem says:

        I am as much a Tantric as Dhanyam and Avinasho are masters. I will use for me and for them a simple expression, ‘honest and loving disciples’.

        Most of Osho people are like this, most of human beings too are like this, honest and loving disciples of their masters and faiths.

  6. Parmartha says:

    ‘Service’ is an important concept.

    Anyway. that service is invariably about ‘helping’ within the sangha. In a Catholic monastery, helping the elderly within the monastery, etc. would be an example.

    Social work I am always somewhat sceptical about, as I know it, as it were, from within.

    American society is fractured by these terrible statistics, but can much be changed anyway there without some real and courageous political initiative and not just charity?

    In terms of getting people to turn within, and find some avenue of growth there, that is in a sense a selfish act. May take you away from family and everything you have considered culturally significant within one’s own psychological history.

    One may appear selfish, and certainly not altruistic….

    • shantam prem says:

      Parmartha, do you think Dalai Lama is more “turned within” than Pope Francis?

      Is it possible Heaven is full with Buddhist monks and all others are treated like Shudras, the untouchables by the divine forces?

      If Earth has become a better place to live in, those who serve as part of their religious faiths or out of inner calling have played immensely valuable role.

      • Parmartha says:

        They both ‘serve’ in the normal sense, but that does by no means mean one is closer to mystic liberation than the other.

        One has to look to those who leave the palaces of power and preferment, like the Buddha himself, to see what real self-examination means.

        • shantam prem says:

          “One has to look to those who leave the palaces of power and preferment, like the Buddha himself, to see what real self-examination means.”


    • preetam says:

      Courageous politicians – that makes me laugh or cry!? History has many courageous politicians, their doings are mostly quite bloody. The question is, whom they are devoted. I guess it’s more then rare to find a politician devoted to truth.

      Is ‘service’ through self-realisation a natural happening of our inner sphere?

  7. swami anand anubodh says:

    Osho, an undesirable subversive whose followers instigated a bio-terror attack and who was deported from the US in 1985, yet Dhanyam says his books have been accepted reading within their penal system for many years.

    Is this our koan for the day?

  8. Prem says:

    I appreciate the good intentions, and the philanthropy, and inmates reading Osho and searching for pen-pals.

    But in the end, this article’s true intention is: sannyasins asking for your money.

    This is what sannyasins are good at: selling you some kind of therapy, and asking for money.

    I remember an Eddie Griffin joke:
    As soon as you go to church, there is somebody trying to stick a dick in you, and they need some money.

    This statement describes Osho centres accurately. Some sannyasin will try to stick a dick in you, and most sannyasins need money from you.

    • shantam prem says:

      Prem, there is a difference between prixk and pusxy therapists asking for fees and Viha Connection asking for donation. Institutions need money and they survive on patterns of goodwill.

      I wonder from where you get your money? Maybe from the job. In a way, therapists too do a job.

      As I have seen in the West, only free thing available is public benches at view points and the multi-million dollars worth emptiness in empty churches. I get much from these and pay with gratitude, though to maintain that, citizens pay taxes and also voluntarily church taxes.

      Few years ago, at dinner table, my ex-wife mentioned how much annual tax she pays for the church and she thinks to withdraw her subscription.

      She did not. My son mentioned, “Papa is getting benefit from the churches.”

      • preetam says:

        Here, people have to pay for things which belong to them anyway – the politician makes it possible for the ruling 1% who possess 51% of earthly whole wealth. As I said, I claim since 1950 every German-born worker until age of 60 was cheated by round about 500,000 euros.

        • shantam prem says:

          Preetam, are you still in your teens? Condemning politicians and priests is very childish unless you provide better solutions for evolution.

          Some bookworm will say Meritocracy is the solution, Osho has said this.

          POST EDITED.

          • preetam says:

            Yes, that’s how it is…here teens write and do not have to work in graphite mines.

            There are many possible ways to overcome political fascism, because before getting enlightend we can use the brain.

            First: If you have a delicious soup in front and feel hungry. Though, within the delicious soup floats a fat fly. What now?

  9. samarpan says:

    “Osho, an undesirable subversive whose followers instigated a bio-terror attack and who was deported from the US in 1985….” (Swami Anand Anubodh).

    Here is a different version:
    The purpose of terrorism is to intimidate the public. If people get sick, too sick to vote on election day, and nobody knows why, can that be called terrorism, or rather a vile and illegal attempt at voter suppression using a biological agent (with no intent to kill anyone)?

    Are all of Osho’s followers ‘instigators’…or only the dozen or so who were involved in illegal activities? I did not like Sheela’s vibe and decided I did not want to be at Rajneeshpuram. I imagine others did the same.

    Osho, a harmless mystic who was arrested without a warrant, mistreated by authorities. Osho, a harmless mystic who was poisoned, deported, and blocked from living in 21 countries by the imperial power that killed him.

    “I was asked in the jail not to write my name, but to write instead the name, David Washington. I said, “I don’t understand. That is not my name. You are forcing me into an illegal act. I will not write that name…
    Do you think I am an idiot? Can’t I see your whole plan? I write David Washington and tomorrow you poison me, and the world will not be even able to trace where I have disappeared, because your register will not show that I ever entered, so the question does not arise that you have killed me.”
    I said, “Forget all about it. You write whatever you want to write. If you want David Washington, write David Washington.” And that law-imposing authority they call marshal in America was asking me to do such an illegal act….
    I said, “You should have at least removed your coat on which a great seal shows: Marshal, Department of Justice. Be ashamed, at least, of your coat. You write, I will sign.”
    He thought that was a good compromise, so he wrote my name, David Washington – and I signed my name. He looked at it…and my signature is such that even a man who knows Hindi cannot understand it. He said, “What is it?”
    I said, “It must be David Washington. If my name is David Washington, this is David Washington.” I said, “I have made it clear. My signatures are world-known. Don’t try to be clever and cunning. If anything happens to me you will be caught for two reasons: my name is written in your handwriting, and my signature is well-known.”

    (Osho, The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here’, Chapter 12).

    • swami anand anubodh says:


      I am glad you are able to set the record straight about some of the goings-on at Rajneeshpuram, it’s reassuring to know that some of what you believe is supported by your imagination.

      But let me just clarify a subtlety in my post I fear you may have missed.

      What you have quoted from me is what I believe is a fair ‘summary’ of how (rightly or wrongly) the US government perceived Osho to be, which begs the question:
      Why then have they been so remiss as to allow his books to be freely available within their prison system?

      Maybe you can find a cut & paste Osho answer to that question.

  10. Dhanyam says:

    Parmartha, thanks for your posting. I would like to add this: A few years ago Deva Premal and Miten did a concert at San Quentin prison near here. As a result, the prison library stocked up some Osho books for the prisoners.

  11. samarpan says:

    “Maybe you can find a cut & paste Osho answer to that question.” (Swami Anand Anubodh).

    Happy to oblige with both the explanation and the quote, swami.

    Rebels and misfits found their way to Osho. I am speaking from my own experience. At one time in my life, before taking sannyas, I was an anarchist pacifist who did not fit in. I was arrested for promoting nuclear disarmament. Rebels and misfits are often imprisoned. It seems perfectly logical to me that prisoners in the USA would be drawn to Osho. Here is the quote you requested:

    “And the people who are in hell have been misfits in the world. But we are a commune of misfits, so nobody can be a misfit with us. We are all misfits, and nobody takes note of it. In fact, we respect the misfit person because he has some individuality. The person who simply fits like a cog in the wheel is not worth…Let him go to heaven. Perhaps he may serve as a cog in some wheel.”

    Osho, ‘From Bondage to Freedom’, Chapter 1

    • swami anand anubodh says:


      So what you believe is that Osho can be poisoned in the American prison system and then those who sanctioned the poisoning are happy for his books to be read in the same system.