In collaboration with J. Sri Bhagovwid (who I do custom graphics for, for free, and snippets of wisdom).
J. Sri Bhagovwid is highly critical of OSHO, claiming, “The most amazing thing about OSHO is the miracle of persuading people he is anything but a clown. He has had armed guards, fleets of cars, and inspected his female followers breasts and “chakras”. The worst thing about him is he took advantage of naive people seeking a better, more spiritual life. His corruption destroyed the lives of many of his followers, which is not hard to imagine when one considers he got all of their money, acted as a dictator over them in his Ashram, and even molested some of the females. His Ashram poisoned the public in Oregon by deliberately contaminating salad bars with a liquid containing Salmonella, resulting in over 700 documented cases of acute food poisoning. He was a grotesque caricature of an evil villain of a guru. In fiction he would be seen as too unrealistic to be believable, yet in real life he is accepted as genuine. THAT is a miracle!”
When it came to enlightenment, Osho was a “no show”.
Let me get this out of the way right quick – spirituality for the rich only is like a diet for the thin only. This doesn’t mean that the rich are spiritual, far from it, but just that they are much less likely to need a way out of suffering when they are being pampered in a life of luxury. The Buddha didn’t seek a way out of suffering for humankind until after he left his father’s palace grounds. Osho offers relief only to those who reside within the equivalent of today’s palace grounds, and who are just looking for a placebo to assuage their guilty consciences. Deep down, they know they have far more than they need while others truly suffer, and they seek even more, and at the expense of others. Who better to help them self-delude than a guru who does the same thing: exults in ridiculous luxury while demanding his followers live a meager existence.
Osho is a whopping cliché, and that of the worst possible, most corrupt guru. His picture is essentially in the encyclopedia next to the definition of fake guru. You can find a lengthy examination of him and his crimes in Wikipedia.
Imagine that you honestly wanted to become a better person, and traveled off to an ashram to meditate and seek spirituality. What kinds of deeds might a guru do to thoroughly put you off and shake any confidence you might have that he’s a real saint? How about he has sex with his young female seekers, and boasts of having had hundreds of them? How about he demands his followers give him large amounts of money, often their life savings, and he uses it to buy a fleet of Rolls Royces and other outlandish luxuries for himself? This is all well documented, and anyone can find out about it simply by visiting Wikipedia.
Do you still think he’s an enlightened saint, like the Buddha or Christ?
- He claims he can perform miracles, but it is beneath himself to do so?
- Claims to have been reincarnated many times and to have had an illustrious past as a series of enlightened masters.
- Takes sleeping pills, Valium, and heroic doses of nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
- Praises Hitler and denounces Gandhi.
- Loves and praises money.
- Looks down upon the poor and discriminates against them.
- Is openly homophobic.
- His ashram in Oregon orchestrated a bio-terror attack by deliberately spreading poison in salad bars to effect county elections.
- His ashram plotted to assassinate politicians in Oregon who got in its way.
- Some of his books were written for him by others.
- His material was largely taken from other sources.
Osho is not even his real name. He was born Chandra Mohan Jain, then he renamed himself Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and finally resurrected himself as Osho in 1989. People are entranced by the name OSHO. It sounds like a mantra, or meditative breathing. It sounds ZEN, and like “ocean”. So hypnotized by him are people that his books adorn the shelves of international youth hostels around the world (I saw one in a restaurant a couple weeks ago). People blithely share his quotes on facebook, and don’t know that he boasted having 90 Rolls Royces.
Here, look at him bragging about them in this video (at 2 minutes and 24 seconds):
Osho is lying in this video about his Rolls Royces. He says his people, followers, or “sanyasins” want him to have 360 Rolls Royces. It’s Osho who wants them for himself. When he had his commune in Oregon “Rajneeshpuram”, he pressured his staff to secure more Rolls Royces because he wanted to break the record for how many anyone had. This was costing his commune $200,000 per month. Meanwhile, much of this money was coming from his followers, many of whom sold off all of their worldly possession and donated all of their wealth to Rajneeshpuram. The guru also wanted a million dollar watch to wear, and told his second in command to divert money from the commune’s needs, if necessary, to secure this luxury for himself.
People don’t know that he said, “as a homosexual, you are not even a human being.” They don’t know his statement, “living in poverty is far more dangerous, far more suffering than dying in a beautifully, scientifically managed gas chamber in Germany. Within a second you are smoke, holy smoke, rather than suffering for millions of years.“ They don’t know that he called himself, “the rich man’s guru” and said “the beggar can not come to me.” Not only is Osho a fraud, he’s an obvious one who has taken himself way out on a limb and made a complete fool of himself. A preacher of antisemitism and homophobia is not enlightened in any sense of the word, and that’s just scratching the surface of his legacy of mammoth egotism and opportunism.
Osho is the inverse of enlightened. He’s a megalomaniac. Nevertheless, and despite his having died over 20 years ago, his fan page on Facebook has over 1,800,000 followers, and over 1,400 people use his “quote + photo” app per month on Facebook. When you quote OSHO, you are unwittingly announcing you are one of the duped.
OSHO is a business, and the customers are being suckered.
Nisargadatta Maharaj didn’t own a luxury automobile, and he gave free talks in his home. Ramana Maharshi had a squirrel. What need does a guru have for luxury? If he is as happy with a stone as with a throne, he’s not going to bother about a throne, let alone 90 of them.
So, when someone asked me what I thought about Osho, I said, “Osho?! Oh shit!”
Defenders of OSHO, of which there are many (I wonder how many of them are invested in the business of OSHO) will try to sideline his more outrageously offensive and inhumane statements, but they stand as a testament to his delusional personality, the gaping holes in his education, and a radical departure from reality. And, no, what he says isn’t any less ridiculous “in context”. Here are some more choice quotes:
Wow! Homosexuality = AIDS. Is this guy a guru or a knee-jerk conservative radio talk show host? He says that he “condemns homosexuality” because it is “unnatural.” Talk about compassion and empathy. If you got AIDS, it was because you were a pervert. I’m not putting words in his mouth, he claimed that “Walt Whitman is the only American to talk of these heights, but he also missed. He missed when he was just on the verge, he was hindered by his homosexuality,” and “Homosexuality is a perversion, a perversion of one’s own body chemistry.” Just for the gay followers of Osho, it’s time to reject him as he rejects you.
“In fact, a man shaving his beard looks like a woman — it is ugly. As far as women are concerned, they love beards. You can ask my women here. A man without a beard and a mustache is just half man.” ~ OSHO
Questioner: HOW WOULD YOU JUDGE HITLER MORALLY AND POLITICALLY?
OSHO: Morally, he was as moral as Mahatma Gandhi.
Questioner: AS MAHATMA GANDHI?
OSHO: Yes, because I consider both absolutely immoral. In fact, he was more a Hindu than Mahatma Gandhi himself…
Hitler is a better Hindu than Gandhi. Fantastic! If you were poor (not rich), Jewish, or gay, Osho had no time for you and/or condemned you outright. So, before you start wearing OSHO on your lapel, find out a little about who the guy really was. Osho was probably short for “OSHOLE”.
Aside from Osho’s own statements, preserved in self-damning videos, his commune in Oregon, which he tried to build into a city, was guilty of poisoning the local community, arson, and attempts to murder local officials who stood in the way of establishing and expanding the commune. These murder plots included poison, and even gunning down the U.S. Attorney for Oregon. Some like to say that Osho (then going by the name Rahjneesh) didn’t know what was going on in his own commune, but he has been recorded in one meeting concerning radical tactics to preserve the commune as saying, “if 10,000 have to die to save one enlightened master, so be it”.
Finally, If it isn’t painfully obvious why you can’t have a fabulously wealthy guru with 90 Rolls Royces, who claims to be only for a rich audience, I can clear this up. Let’s just go back to the one guy that, if anyone, was really enlightened = the Buddha. He grew up, so they say, in a kind of palace, and was completely sheltered from the rough world outside. When he finally did venture out he was so struck by poverty, aging, illness, and vulnerability/mortality in general, that he needed to find a way out. Suffering, he saw, was inevitable. But there must be a way to not simply be crushed. So he sought a way to overcome the suffering of the world, and this led him to test himself and undergo self-deprivation before finally finding his middle-way path. So, for the sake of argument, let’s just agree that there is such a thing as enlightenment. The people who need it most are those who are actually suffering and/or most at risk.
The enlightened person, so it is claimed, accepts reality as it unfolds without resistance, and has no preference or need for luxury. This ability to completely accept whatever comes is how he or she overcomes suffering. One is no longer a separate individual in a hostile world and vulnerable to devastation from outside. As an indivisible part of the whole of reality, one no longer views the eventual tragic circumstances we all must face as separate or alien. Since the individual is an illusion, he cannot be destroyed. The entirety remains. So goes the philosophy.
If the path of enlightenment is the way to overcome suffering in this world, indulging in luxuries doesn’t really show either a capacity to deal with real suffering, or a lack of preference for pleasure. Osho does the equivalent of showing that the way to overcome alcohol addiction is to drink oneself to death. The guru who needs to break the world record for Roll’s Royce ownership, sacrifices his followers’ basic needs to adorn himself with a million dollar watch, and thinks the lives of tens of thousands are not worth as much as his own, is not enlightened, but megalomaniacally rooted in the nether recesses of the selfish ego. If enlightenment is a possibility, and there are or ever were real enlightened people or saints, Osho helps shatter any confidence that any of that may be real. He does, however, appeal to a certain brand of person who likes to think of himself as enlightened, but also absolved of any sin or crime, no matter how selfish, cruel, or petty, because he transcends the Earthly, terrestrial morality and law.
To those that worship Osho, and think he’s merely being provocative and that it takes countless lives to understand him, I suggest you find a new guru. There is a miracle surrounding the name of Osho, and it is that so many are still purchasing Osho products.
If you’ve read this far, and are about to post an angry and insulting comment, consider why you want to defend Osho and attack us for criticizing him. Is it because you think he is an enlightened being and a great spiritual teacher, and thus can do no wrong, and therefore everything he does must be valid and useful for some reason beyond the morality and rational understanding of normal mortals? We see it the other way around. Because of his bad actions, selfishness, egotism, and lack of self control, he cannot be a great spiritual teacher. But he was smart to realize that people worship celebrity, royalty, and divinity. If he could persuade people that he was intrinsically different, than he would be above all criticism. This is a common technique, and why the fake gurus often employ cheap magic tricks, such as when Sai Baba would materialize gold watches to give to his followers. Osho is a huckster selling snake oil to gullible yokels who want to believe a miracle.
Written by J. Sri Bhagovwid, and edited by me .