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Yet a number of us see Rajneesh/Osho quite differently....
Frankly, while he was a very intriguing and in some ways quite helpful figure within the Divine dream, because of his very serious personal shortcomings and flawed way of teaching, I just don't think Osho warrants mention in the same breath as evidently far more authentic spiritual masters including Gautama the Buddha, Jesus, Antony of Egypt, Atisha, Kobo Daishi, Milarepa, Jnaneshvar, Rumi, Chinul, Dogen, Bankei, Hakuin, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Moshe Cordovero, the Baal Shem Tov, Seraphim of Sarov (et al.), and widely visited and well documented figures of the modern era like Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna, Narayana Guru, Hazrat Babajan, Shirdi Sai Baba, Meher Baba, Shaikh al-Alawi, Padre Pio, Swami Gnanananda, Bhagavan Nityananda, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Anandamayi Ma, Anasuya Devi, Hsu Yun, Hsuan Hua, Taungpulu Sayadaw, Ajahn Chah, Songchol Kun Sunim, Daehaeng Kun Sunim, Dhilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and many other luminaries.
And so, concerned about his image in the eyes of his people and the general public, Rajneesh briefly preferred to call himself "Zorba the Budddha" and then in October 1989, three months before his death, he adopted a "healing," Zen-sounding name, "Osho." The strategy has worked: today very few people who visit Osho centers, read or hear Osho's words, and practice his heavily cathartic meditation methods know much if anything about his problematic earlier life as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
Indeed, it seems that a relatively small but growing number of people actually, seriously view Osho as "India's greatest spiritual master since the Buddha," as his organizers like to extol or hype him, which is quite a grandiose claim in the spiritual marketplace.
Many of these disciples and fans of Osho Rajneesh further wonder why anyone should be at all interested to critique the unwholesome and unsavory aspects of the long-deceased "Bhagwan," when the only thing really important in life, so they say, is "living from freedom in the moment" and "living from the heart, not the head." For the record, while Rajneesh himself very often made this artificial and misleading distinction, he is also on record as more wisely saying: "My way has been described as that of the heart, but it is not true.
The heart will give you all kinds of imaginings, hallucinations, illusions, sweet dreams—but it cannot give you the truth.
My heavy leaning onto the critical side is to balance out the gushing praise of Osho to be found all over the Internet and on the covers for his books, videos and other merchandise prominently on display in countless venues worldwide.
I just draw a clear line between what was good about him and where he went wrong, so that others in the future will not make the same tragic mistakes." Calder has also written: "Ask yourself this question.
What does the average Mafia crime boss or corrupt dictator want most?
In response to a flurry of some two dozen emails from a Rajneesh disciple, major additions pro and con were made to this webpage (mainly from Aug. 25, 2011) in the early and middle sections up to and including my biography on Rajneesh and all the way down to the bibliographic resources section, about 70% into this long webpage.
It's clear that all selves are manifestations of just ONE REALITY, ONE SELF, ONE AWARENESS.
Though numerous Rajneeshees will claim, using vague or dubious criteria, that their guru was "fully enlightened" (Rajneesh certainly claimed this for himself) and that he enlightened them, too, with his counsels and his "special energy," the bulk evidence indicates that Rajneesh/Osho left a mixed or even tragic legacy. --very misleading or imbalanced teachings as well as quite helpful wisdom, --some really bad advice along with genuinely good counsels, --a slew of lies about himself and his movement, --dozens of glaring errors in his discussions of world religions and other subjects, --personal role-modeling of voracious materialist greed and conniving ambition for fame and power, --narcissistic ego-inflation along with authoritarian power-plays and lack of empathy, --intellectual dishonesty and petty oneupsmanship tactics, --a hypocritical inability to live what he preached (e.g., telling everyone to "go beyond the mind" while talking for tens of thousands of hours from a heavily opinionated and error-prone mind; preaching that the enlightened one lives in tension-free ease viewing life as a play while he himself frequently used laughing gas/nitrous oxide and valium to the point of incoherence, said some of his closest people), --a penchant by Rajneesh and his appointed leaders for deceitful spinning or rationalizing nearly every time they were confronted on anything of importance, --heavy solicitations and numerous scams by his appointed leaders to fleece his followers and their families of as much of their money and possessions as possible (especially from 1980 onward), --crushing work-loads for exploited disciples (routinely 15-18 hours, 7 days a week), at the Oregon ranch in USA from 1981-5, --a commune at Poona, India and then one in Oregon often buzzing with ecstatic excitement and groovy sensuality but also debauched by wanton sex (and countless venereal diseases), --a several-year period of violence at Poona and branch-communes worldwide (resulting in bruises, blood, even broken bones and rapes) until it was banned by the Rajneesh Foundation in 1979, --and diverse criminal activity from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s in both India and Oregon.