English Hindi


Politics & War

Society & Philosophy






  • Rajneesh was born Chandra Mohan Jain on 11 December 1931 the eldest of 11 children of a cloth merchant,  a small village in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh state in India.
  • His parents, Babulal and Saraswati Jain, who were Taranpanthi Jains, let him live with his maternal grandparents until he was seven years old.
  • When he was seven years old, his grandfather died, and he went to Gadarwara to live with his parents.In his school years, he was a gifted and rebellious student, and gained a reputation as a formidable debater.


  • Rajneesh became critical of traditional religion, took an interest in many methods to expand consciousness, including breath control, yogic exercises, meditation, fasting, the occult, and hypnosis.
  • In 1951, aged 19, Rajneesh began his studies at Hitkarini College in Jabalpur.He began speaking in public at the annual Sarva Dharma Sammelan (Meeting of all faiths)and participated there from 1951 to 1968.
  • He resisted his parents’ pressure to get married. Rajneesh later said he became spiritually enlightened on 21 March 1953, when he was 21 years old, in a mystical experience while sitting under a tree.


  • Having completed his BA in philosophy at D. N. Jain College in 1955, he joined the University of Sagar, where in 1957 he earned his MA in philosophy (with distinction).
  • He immediately secured a teaching position at Raipur Sanskrit College, but the vice-chancellor soon asked him to seek a transfer as he considered him a danger to his students’ morality, character, and religion.
  • From 1958, he taught philosophy as a lecturer at Jabalpur University, being promoted to professor in 1960.
  • In parallel to his university job, he travelled throughout India under the name Acharya Rajneesh (Acharya means teacher or professor; Rajneesh was a nickname he had acquired in childhood).
  • After a controversial speaking tour in 1966, he resigned from his teaching post at the request of the university.


  • From 1968 lecture series, later published under the title From Sex to Superconsciousness, he scandalised Hindu leaders by calling for freer acceptance of sex and became known as the “sex guru” in the Indian press.
  • He left Jabalpur for Mumbai at the end of June. On 26 September 1970, he initiated his first group of disciples or neo-sannyasins.
  • He had by then acquired a secretary, Laxmi Thakarsi Kuruwa, who as his first disciple had taken the name Ma Yoga Laxmi.
  • In 1971, he adopted the title “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh”.


  • In 1974, on the 21st anniversary of his experience in Jabalpur, he moved to a property in Koregaon Park, Pune, Rajneesh spoke at the Pune ashram from 1974 to 1981.
  • The number of Western visitors increased sharply. The Pune ashram was by all accounts an exciting and intense place to be, with an emotionally charged.
  • Many disciples chose to stay for years. Besides the controversy around the therapies, allegations of drug use amongst sannyasin began to mar the ashram’s image.


  • Conflicts with various Indian religious leaders aggravated the situation.
  • By 1981, Rajneesh’s ashram hosted 30,000 visitors per year.Daily discourse audiences were by then predominantly European and American.
  • On 10 April 1981, having discoursed daily for nearly 15 years, Rajneesh entered a three-and-a-half-year period of self-imposed public silence, and satsangs.Around the same time, Ma Anand Sheela (Sheela Silverman) replaced Ma Yoga Laxmi as Rajneesh’s secretary.


  • In 1981, the increased tensions around the Poona ashram, along with criticism of its activities and threatened punitive action by Indian authorities, provided an impetus for the ashram to consider the establishment of a new commune in the United States.
  • On 13 June 1981, Sheela’s husband, John Shelfer, signed a purchase contract to buy property in Oregon for US$5.75 million, and a few days later assigned the property to the US foundation. It was renamed “Rancho Rajneesh” and Rajneesh moved there on 29 August.
  • Initial local community reactions ranged from hostility to tolerance, depending on distance from the ranch.


  • The Oregon legislature passed several bills that sought to slow or stop the development and the City of Rajneeshpuram—including HB 3080, which stopped distribution of revenue sharing funds for any city whose legal status had been challenged. Rajneeshpuram was the only city impacted.
  • In 1983 the Oregon Attorney General filed a lawsuit seeking to declare the City void because of an alleged violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
  • While the various legal battles ensued Rajneesh remained behind the scenes, having withdrawn from a public facing role in what commune leadership referred to as a period of “silence.”


  • In 1983, Sheela announced that he would henceforth speak only with herHe later said that she kept him in ignorance.
  • At this time, the three main identifiable entities within his organisation were: the Ranch Church, or Rajneesh International Foundation (RIF); the Rajneesh Investment Corporation (RIC), through which the RIF was managed; and the Rajneesh Neo-Sannyasin International Commune (RNSIC).
  • Several months later, on 30 October 1984, he ended his period of public silence, announcing that it was time to “speak his own truths”.
  • In July 1985 he resumed daily public discourses. On 16 September 1985, a few days after Sheela and her entire management team had suddenly left the commune for Europe, Rajneesh held a press conference in which he labelled Sheela and her associates a “gang of fascists”.


  • Following his exit from the US, Rajneesh returned to India, landing in Delhi on 17 November 1985. He was given a hero’s welcome by his Indian disciples.
  • He then stayed for six weeks in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. When non-Indians in his party had their visas revoked, he moved on to Kathmandu, Nepal, and then, a few weeks later, to Crete.
  • Arrested after a few days by the Greek National Intelligence Service (KYP), he flew to Geneva, then to Stockholm and London, but was in each case refused entry.
  • Rajneesh returned to Bombay, India, on 30 July 1986.In January 1987, Rajneesh returned to the ashram in Pune.Rajneesh died on 19 January 1990, aged 58, at the ashram in Pune, India.


  • He suggested more than a hundred meditation techniques in total. His own “active meditation” techniques are characterised by stages of physical activity leading to silence.
  • The most famous of these remains Dynamic Meditatiion.Performed with closed or blindfolded eyes, it comprises five stages, four of which are accompanied by music.
  • First the meditator engages in ten minutes of rapid breathing through the nose. The second ten minutes are for catharsis.Next, for ten minutes one jumps up and down with arms raised, shouting Hoo! each time one lands on the flat of the feet.
  • At the fourth, silent stage, the meditator stops moving suddenly and totally, remaining completely motionless for fifteen minutes, witnessing everything that is happening. The last stage of the meditation consists of fifteen minutes of dancing and celebration.


  • Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you also.
  • There is no God other than life itself.
  • Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.
  • Love is prayer.
  • To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.
  • Life is now and here.
  • Live wakefully.
  • Do not swim—float.
  • Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.
  • Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.