What is ‘Osho’s Legacy’?
This question has surfaced at Sannyas News a number of times over the years, evoking conflicting viewpoints:
Is it what he consciously and carefully left behind, eg a specific structure, including places, (communes, ashrams), practices, guidelines for sannyasins to live by?
Or did he simply do his utmost to help and simply departed, trusting in Life to take care and for the fruits of his work to unfold how, when and where they would?
But did he actually care what the future would look like for sannyasins? Does it make sense to even imagine any “legacy” exists or has ever existed?
Nearly 6 years ago, Lokesh wrote on this topic at Sannyas News: http://sannyasnews.org/now/archives/3278
And last Saturday, ‘Quora Digest’ published the following short article by Anand Sharma, highly relevant to considering ”what Osho left behind’, particularly in the light of what some (or many?) regard as his “downfall”, ie his failure.
What Led to the Downfall of Osho? (by Anand Sharma)
Nothing led to the ‘downfall of Osho’. In my opinion many of his talks given from after he began speaking again after three years of public silence in Oct 1984 until 1990 are amongst some of the best that he ever gave. His books on Zen compiled from talks given during the last few years of his life were being introduced by some Zen masters and studied in tZen monasteries in Japan.
The energy that came through him was consistently transformative and powerfull throughout his lifetime, and it is still available to help people. But I would always recommend a living master. Unless you have a connection to Osho that works for you.
There is an old Sufi saying: ‘Many are called, few are chosen’.
By the end of the seventies Osho had attracted hundreds of thousands of people – the figure of a quarter of a million was bandied around a lot- and he wanted to clear away some of the blind followers and believers who were following him intellectually but were not tuned in closely with him with a spiritual connection.
So some people never made the transition during his period in Rajneeshpuram and some of the outrageous devices he used were effective at clearing away those were not intimately spiritually connected to him.
Osho didn’t want to be respectable and amassing a huge collection of Rolls Royce’s was enough to put off many who cared about respectability. .He had been greatly inspired by the mystic George Gurdgieff who had spent time with the Naqshbandi Sufis. The Naqshbandi Sufis would deliberately destroy their reputation to avoid amassing too many followers . George Gurdjieff | 20th Century Mystic & Philosophe|B Community
There was also the commune management led by Sheela which put many poeple off too. But Osho was able to help any sannyasin who was connected to Osho spiritually from a distance , there was no need to be in his physical presence, and some sannyasins who left Rajneeshpuram after falling out with Sheela or other members of her harsh regime(or sometimes ordered to leave) , still maintained the inner connection with Osho’s presence.
Then there were the crimes of Sheela’s management which Osho exposed in September 1985, after she had left. These crimes have stained his reputation a little , much more than he had intended but not damaged his legacy too badly, his books and meditations are still very popular, and there are enlightened sannyasins who are sharing with seekers around the world , and their will also be enlightened lineages which are the real legacy of Osho’ work . Osho spent years trying to spread consciousness and meditation around the earth and he didn’t do a bad job.
From Quora Digest, August 24, 2019