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Biography of OshoOsho (Rajneesh) had the rare ability to teach on the religious traditions of others in a way that was a revelation even to the followers of those traditions - so that Sufis thought that they had never understood Sufism till now, Zen masters honored him as having the essence of Zen, and so on.
He started life as a philosophy professor, traveled all over India talking on religion, learned English, and first started to teach Westerners in the early Seventies. Soon he created a commune in Poona, India that combined his teaching, traditional spiritual practices such as meditation and T`ai Chi, psychotherapeutic techniques from the rapidly expanding Human Potential Movement, and life and work together in an intense therapeutic community.
In 1981 the commune moved to Oregon. Paranoia set in and various senior disciples were convicted of crimes such as poisoning, electoral and immigration fraud, and attempted murder. Though he himself was never convicted of any crime, he left the U.S. as part of a plea bargain and re-established the commune in Poona, where he died some years later. Disciples claim with some plausibility that this was partly as a result of his being poisoned with thallium while in U.S. federal custody. His commune and his work continue, and his disciples still number in the thousands. He is the author of over one hundred books.
Several authors have written about their experiences with Rajneesh. The most perceptive and impartial account, in my opinion, is `The Golden Guru`, by James S. Gordon. Information about his life and work, supplied by his disciples, is available on the net.
Note on the Source Text and its Relationship to this SiteThe majority of the source text actually consists of answers to questions from disciples, which are fascinating and do not appear in this site. The commentaries are extracted from two sets of morning lectures, the first set given in Poona, India around 1980 and the second years later in Oregon. The two lecture sets have a slightly different character, due to their different audiences and circumstances. Only commentaries from the first set appear here, and only in abbreviated form, so the text extracted here amounts to only about 10-15% of the book.