Osho, better known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, became infamous for his posh lifestyle and outrageous teachings. A prolific author of some respectable and even insightful books, he refused to pen an autobiography for his myriad disciples. Nonetheless, two of these, Sarito Carol Neiman and Ma Yoga Bhakti, have pieced together an autobiography of sorts from the many of volumes of his writings and published talks. We find in Osho a vibrant mind, a sharp wit, and a feigned unpretentiousness that is both disarming and seductive. Following his story, we learn Osho was raised on a loose tether by his businessman grandfather and atheist grandmother, rebelliously questioning religious authority by the age of 5. By the age of 7, he was uncontrollable, and at 21, he had a prolonged enlightenment experience.
A Ph.D. in philosophy brought him to the role of professor, but he outgrew it with his talks on meditation that gradually became more radical, until he was known in India as the sex guru.
Ousted from India, he sought to create the perfect and most free community, choosing a remote corner of the U.S. Controversy erupted, and the man who called himself Zorba the Buddha became persona non grata the world over. To read about this unorthodox teacher in his own words is certainly entertaining, and although not without internal contradictions, the book is valuable for its relentless challenge to the sacred tenets of established religious thought. Like the best Zen master, Osho forces us to reconsider our conventions.
--Brian Bruya Osho is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. More than a decade after his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to expand, reaching people of all ages in virtually every country of the world. Born in India in 1931, Osho first became known as a rebellious philosophy professor in the 1960s and traveled extensively throughout India, giving talks, debating with traditional religious leaders, and introducing his revolutionary active meditation technique, Dynamic Meditation.
In 1974 he established a center for meditation and self-discovery in Pune, India. His work there, he said, was an experiment to create the conditions for the birth of a "new man"--one who is free of all outdated ideologies and doctrines of the past and whose vision encompasses both the spiritual wisdom of the East and the scientific understandings of the West. Osho is now globally recognized as one of the twentieth century's most important spiritual guides, although his uncompromising approach and "in your face" style were often misunderstood during his lifetime.
"He loved controversy," says Aroon Purie, editor of India Today. "He used to make all kinds of outrageous statements that would get everybody worked up. People used to get upset about the messenger and forget the message. Today the messenger isn't there and people are listening to the message, which is something very intelligent and useful."Ten years have passed since, in the words of his physician, Osho prepared for his departure from the body that had served him for 59 years "as calmly as though he were packing for a weekend in the country".
This volume is recognition that the time has come to provide a historical and biographical context for understanding Osho and his work. Who was this man, known as the sex guru, the "self-appointed Bhagwan", the Rolls Royce Guru, the Rich Man's Guru and simply the Master?Drawn from nearly 5000 hours of Osho's recorded talks, we learn the story of his youth and education, of his life as a professor of philosophy, of years of traveling and teaching the importance of meditation, and the true legacy he sought to leave behind: a religionless religion centered on the act of meditation and the teaching of "Zorba the Buddha".
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