Osho [Hindi: ओशो] (11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990), born Chandra Mohan Jain [चन्द्र मोहन जैन], and also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and as Osho from 1989, was an Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher who inspired a controversial spiritual movement in India, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, and many other countries. His syncretic teachings emphasise the importance of meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity and humour — qualities that he viewed as being suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition and socialisation.
- One has to reach to the absolute state of awareness: that is Zen. You cannot do it every morning for a few minutes or for half an hour and then forget all about it. It has to become like your heartbeat. You have to sit in it, you have to walk in it. Yes, you have even to sleep in it.
- Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen (1982) ISBN 0880506687
- I am the rich man's guru.
- The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986) ISBN 0880502509
- I would like that what I am doing is not lost. So I am trying in every possible way to drop all those things which in the past have been barriers for the revolution to continue and grow. I don't want anybody to stand between the individual and existence. No prayer, no priest... you alone are enough to face the sunrise, you don't need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is... And this is my attitude: you are here, every individual is here, the whole existence is available. All that you need is just to be silent and listen to existence. There is no need of any religion, there is no need of any God, there is no need of any priesthood, there is no need of any organization. I trust in the individual categorically. Nobody up to now has trusted in the individual in such a way.
- The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986)
- Buddha declared before his death that he would be coming again after twenty-five centuries, and that his name would be Maitreya. Maitreya means the friend. Buddhas don't come back; no enlightened person ever comes back, so it is just a way of saying... What he was saying is of tremendous importance. It has nothing to do with his coming back; he cannot come back. What he meant was that the ancient relationship between the Master and the disciple would become irrelevant in twenty-five centuries. It was his clarity of perception — he was not predicting anything — just his clarity to see that as things are changing, as they have changed in the past and as they go on changing, it would take at least twenty-five centuries for the Master and disciple relationship to become out of date. Then the enlightened Master will be only the friend. I had always wanted not to be a Master to anybody. But people want a Master, they want to be disciples; hence, I played the role. It is time that I should say to you that now many of you are ready to accept me as the friend. Those who are in tune with me continuously, without any break, are the only real friends...
- The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986) ISBN 0880502509
- I have never been a celibate. If people believe so, that is their foolishness. I have always loved women — and perhaps more women than anybody else. You can see my beard: it has become grey so quickly because I have lived so intensely that I have compressed almost two hundred years into fifty.
- The Last Testament : Interviews with the World Press (1986)
- It was good of Friedrich Nietzsche to declare God dead — I declare that he has never been born. It is a created fiction, an invention, not a discovery. Do you understand the difference between invention and discovery? A discovery is about truth, an invention is manufactured by you. It is man-manufactured fiction. Certainly it has given consolation, but consolation is not the right thing! Consolation is opium. It keeps you unaware of the reality, and life is flowing past you so quickly — seventy years will be gone soon. Anybody who gives you a belief system is your enemy, because the belief system becomes the barrier for your eyes, you cannot see the truth. The very desire to find the truth disappears. But in the beginning it is bitter if all your belief systems are taken away from you. The fear and anxiety which you have been suppressing for millennia, which is there, very alive, will surface immediately. No God can destroy it, only the search for truth and the experience of truth — not a belief — is capable of healing all your wounds, of making you a whole being. And the whole person is the holy person to me.
- God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth (1989) YouTube video of the lecture
- I believe and trust absolutely in existence. If there is any truth in what I am saying, it will survive. The people who remain interested in my work will be simply carrying the torch, but not imposing anything on anyone, either by sword or bread. I will remain a source of inspiration to my people and that is what most sannyasins will feel. I want them to grow on their own. Qualities like love, around which no church can be created, like awareness, qualities which are nobody's monopoly, like celebration, rejoicing, and maintaining childlike fresh eyes. I want people to know themselves, not to be according to someone else, and the way is in.
- Italian TV Interview (1989)
- Just a few days ago a man came to see me and he said, "I am a humble man. I am just like the dust on your feet. I have been trying for almost twenty years to achieve higher consciousness, but I have been a failure. Why can't I attain?" And on and on he went. Every sentence started with I. If the grammar allowed, every sentence would have ended with I. And if everything was allowed, every sentence would have consisted only of I's. "I etcetera, I etcetera, I etcetera," it went on and on. You are filled too much. There is no room, no space for God to enter in you. You are too crowded. A thousand I's milling inside — they don't leave any space for anything to enter in you.
- Just Like That: Talks on Sufism (1993) ISBN 3893381139
- Tao mystics never talk about God, reincarnation, heaven, hell. No, they don't talk about these things. These are all creations of human mind: explanations for something which can never be explained, explanations for the mystery. In fact, all explanations are against God because explanation de-mystifies existence. Existence is a mystery, and one should accept it as a mystery and not pretend to have any explanation. No, explanation is not needed — only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberates.
- Never Born, Never Died (2002) ISBN 81-7621-121-4
- It is not decided by votes what is true; otherwise we could never come to any truth, ever. People will vote for what is comfortable — and lies are very comfortable because you don't have to do anything about them, you just have to believe. Truth needs great effort, discovery, risk, and it needs you to walk alone on a path that nobody has traveled before.
- Your Answers Questioned (2003)
- Whenever I meet prostitutes, they never speak of sex. They inquire about the soul, and about God. I also meet many ascetics and monks, and whenever we are alone they ask about nothing but sex. I was surprised to learn that ascetics, who are always preaching against sex, seem to be captivated by it. They are curious about it and disturbed by it; they have this mental complex about it, yet they sermonize about religion and about the animal instincts in man. And sex is so natural.
- From Sex to Superconsciousness
- I am not a man of etiquette, I don't know manners. I simply call a spade a fucking spade, because that's what it is.
- From Darkness to Light
- Nobody can teach you love. Love you have to find yourself, within your being, by raising your consciousness to higher levels. And when love comes, there is no question of responsibility. You do things because you enjoy doing them for the person you love. You are not obliging the person, you are not even wanting anything in return, not even gratitude. On the contrary, you are grateful that the person has allowed you to do something for him. It was your joy, sheer joy. Love knows nothing of responsibility. It does many things, it is very creative; it shares all that it has, but it is not a responsibility, remember. Responsibility is an ugly word in comparison to love. Love is natural. Responsibility is created by the cunning priests, politicians who want to dominate you in the name of God, in the name of the nation, in the name of family, in the name of religion -- any fiction will do. But they don't talk about love. On the contrary, they are all against love, because love is unable to be controlled by them. A man of love acts out of his own heart, not according to any moral code. A man of love will not join the army because it is his responsibility to fight for his nation. A man of love will say there are no nations, and there is no question of any fight.
- Sat Chit Anand
- Any mundane activity can become meditative. Digging a hole in the garden, planting new roses in the garden — you can do it with such tremendous love and compassion, you can do it with the hands of a buddha. There is no contradiction … I say unto you, your every act should be a ceremony. If you can bring your consciousness, your awareness, your intelligence to the act, if you can be spontaneous, then there is no need for any other religion: life itself will be the religion.
- Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen
- Be realistic: Plan for a miracle.
- Ancient Music in the Pines
- I do not ordinarily make prophecies, but about this I am absolutely prophetic: the coming hundred years are going to be more and more irrational, and more and more mystical. The second thing: After a hundred years people will be perfectly able to understand why I was misunderstood — because I am the beginning of the mystical, the irrational. I am a discontinuity with the past. The past cannot understand me; only the future will understand. The past can only condemn me. It cannot understand me, it cannot answer me, it cannot argue with me; it can only condemn me. Only the future … as man becomes more and more available to the mysterious, to the meaningless yet significant … After a hundred years they will understand. Because the more man becomes aware of the mysterious side of life, the less he is political; the less he is a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian; the less is the possibility for his being a fanatic. A man in tune with the mysterious is humble, loving, caring, accepting the uniqueness of everybody. He is rejoicing in the freedom of each individual, because only with freedom can this garden of humanity be a rich place.
- The Osho Upanishad
- My whole teaching consists of two words, meditation and love. Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, if you can move without any effort, you have learned the greatest thing in life.
- Come, Come, Yet Again Come
- Ecstasy is our very nature, not to be ecstatic is simply unnecessary. To be ecstatic is natural, spontaneous. It needs no effort to be ecstatic, it needs great effort to be miserable. That's why you look so tired, because misery is real hard work; to maintain it is really difficult, because you are doing something against the nature. You are going upstream — that's what misery is.
- The Book of Wisdom
- Remain in wonder if you want mysteries to open up for you. Mysteries never open up for those who go on questioning. Questioners sooner or later end up in a library. They end up with scriptures, because scriptures are full of answers. And answers are dangerous, they kill your wonder.
- The Book of Wisdom
- All the Buddhas of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be — don't try to become. Within these two words — being and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.
- The Book of Wisdom
- The longer a person has been dead the greater is the tradition … If Buddha is alive you can barely tolerate him. … You cannot believe this man has known the ultimate because he looks just like you … Hungry he needs food, sleepy he wants a bed, ill, he has to rest — just like you … That is why Jesus is worshipped now and yet he was crucified when he was alive. Alive, you crucify him; dead, you worship him.
- When the Shoe Fits
- You say that in heaven there is eternal beauty. The eternal beauty is here and now, not in heaven.
- When the Shoe Fits
- When I am gone I hope there may still be courageous people in the world to criticize me, so that I don't become a hindrance on anybody's path. And those who will criticize me will not be my enemies; neither am I the enemy of those whom I have criticized. The working of the enlightened masters just has to be understood.
- Satyam Shivam Sundaram
- You must have heard about the beautiful Sufi legend of Majnu and Laila. It is not an ordinary love story. The word majnu means mad, mad for God. And laila is the symbol of God. Sufis think of God as the beloved; laila means the beloved. Everybody is a Majnu, and God is the beloved. And one has to open one’s heart, the eye of the heart.
- Sufis, The People of the Path, Vol. 1
- I have withdrawn the red dress, the mala, because thousands of people wanted to be sannyasins but just because of the clothes and the mala they felt difficulties in the world — their job, their family, their wife, their parents, their friends — and it was too much of a trouble. I have withdrawn everything. Now whatsoever remains is something inner which neither the wife can detect nor the father nor the job nor the friends.
- The Last Testament, Vol. 3
- Nature has come to a point where now, unless you take individual responsibility, you cannot grow. More than this nature cannot do. It has done enough. It has given you life, it has given you opportunity; now how to use it, it has left up to you. Meditation is your freedom, not a biological necessity. You can learn in a certain period of time every day to strengthen meditation, to make it stronger — but carry the flavor of it the whole day.
- Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram
- If you really want to know who I am, you have to be as absolutely empty as I am. Then two mirrors will be facing each other, and only emptiness will be mirrored. Infinite emptiness will be mirrored: two mirrors facing each other. But if you have some idea, then you will see your own idea in me.
- Come Follow To You, Vol. 2, Chapter 4; in Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic (2000), Part 2.
The Mustard Seed (1975)
- The first thing to be understood about a man like Jesus is that whatsoever the church that is bound to grow around such a man says about him, it is bound to be wrong. What the Christian church says about Christ cannot be true. In fact the Christian priest does not represent Christ at all. He is the same old rabbi in new garments, the same old rabbi who was responsible for Jesus murder.
- Jesus is a rebel, just as Buddha or Lao Tzu is. When the church starts establishing itself it starts destroying the rebelliousness of Jesus, Buddha, because rebellion cannot go with an establishment.
- The Christian priest is not interested in God: he is interested in creating a business. He has to claim that Jesus is the only way, that all other ways are wrong. He is in search of customers.
The Discipline Of Transcendence (1978)
- Just before twenty-first March, 1953, seven days before, I stopped working on myself. A moment comes when you see the whole futility of effort. You have done all that you can do and nothing is happening. You have done all that is humanly possible. Then what else can you do? In sheer helplessness one drops all search. And the day the search stopped, the day I was not seeking for something, the day I was not expecting something to happen, it started happening. A new energy arose — out of nowhere. It was not coming from any source. It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air — it was everywhere. And I was seeking so hard, and I was thinking it is very far away. And it was so near and so close.
- Near about twelve my eyes suddenly opened — I had not opened them. The sleep was broken by something else. I felt a great presence around me in the room. It was a very small room. I felt a throbbing life all around me, a great vibration — almost like a hurricane, a great storm of light, joy, ecstasy. I was drowning in it. It was so tremendously real that everything became unreal. The walls of the room became unreal, the house became unreal, my own body became unreal. Everything was unreal because now there was for the first time reality.
- The whole day was strange, stunning, and it was a shattering experience. The past was disappearing, as if it had never belonged to me, as if I had read about it somewhere, as if I had dreamed about it, as if it was somebody else's story I have heard and somebody told it to me. I was becoming loose from my past, I was being uprooted from my history, I was losing my autobiography. I was becoming a non-being, what Buddha calls anatta. Boundaries were disappearing, distinctions were disappearing.
Tantra: the Supreme Understanding (1984)
- Don't say this is good and that is bad. Drop all discrimination. Accept everything as it is.
- Liberation cannot be desired because desire is the bondage. When you are desireless, you are liberated.
- Tantra accepts everything, lives everything. That's why tantra never could become a very accepted ideology. It always remained a fringe ideology.
- Tantra is a great yea-sayer; it says yes to everything.
- Tantra says there is nobody above you whom you have to follow, through whom you have to get your pattern.
- The ordinary society is like a paperweight on you: it won't allow you to fly.
- The tantra masters are simply wild flowers, they have everything in them.
- When you are no more, only then for the first time will you be.
My Way: The Way of the White Clouds (1995)
- Find moments when you are not, and those will be the moments when you will be for the first time...really. So I am the white cloud, and the whole effort is to make you also white clouds drifting in the sky. Nowhere to go, coming from nowhere, just being there this very moment — perfect. I don't teach you any ideals, I don't teach you any oughts. I don't say to you be this, become that. My whole teaching is simply this: Whatsoever you are, accept it so totally that nothing is left to be achieved, and you will become a white cloud.
- Look for the mysterious in life. Wherever you look — in the white clouds, in the stars in the night, in the flowers, in a flowing river — wherever you look, look for the mystery. And whenever you find that a mystery is there, meditate on it. Meditation means: dissolve yourself before that mystery, annihilate yourself before that mystery, disperse yourself before that mystery. Be no more, and let the mystery be so total that you are absorbed in it. And suddenly a new door opens, a new perception is achieved.
- Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground. Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened in new subtle ways. This is something basic to be understood: the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity — only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved.
The Art of Dying
- Man has nothing else to do but surrender — in deep trust, in deep love. Don’t be a doer, just surrender. Let there be a let-go.
- The Art of Dying (osho.com; retrieved August 2012), Chapter 6, 14.
Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic (2000)
- And my grandparents became very aware of one thing—that I enjoyed my aloneness. They had seen that I had no desire to go to the village to meet anybody, or to talk with anybody. Even if they wanted to talk, my answers were yes or no; I was not interested in talking either. They became aware of one thing—that I enjoyed my aloneness and it was their sacred duty not to disturb me.
- p. 6
- For seven years I remained undisturbed—no one to nag me, to prepare me for the world of business, politics, diplomacy. My grandparents were more interested in leaving me as natural as possible—particularly my grandmother. She is one of the causes—these small things affect all your life patterns—she is one of the causes of my respect for the whole of womanhood. She was a simple woman, uneducated, but immensely sensitive. She made it clear to my grandfather and the servant: "We all have lived a certain kind of life which has not led us anywhere. We are as empty as ever, and now death is coming close." She insisted, "Let this child be uninfluenced by us. What influence can we have? We can only make him like us, and we are nothing. Give him an opportunity to be himself."
- p. 7
- If you believe in any religion you cannot meditate. Religion is an interference in your meditation. Meditation needs no God, no heaven, no hell, no fear of punishment, and no allurement of pleasure.
- p. 10
- Nobody should lie — to a child, at least — it is unforgivable. Children have been exploited for centuries just because they are willing to trust. You can lie to them very easily and they will trust you. If you are a father, a mother, they will think you are bound to be true. That’s how the whole of humanity lives in corruption, in a very slippery mud of lies told to children for centuries. If we can do just one thing, a simple thing — not lie to children and to confess to them our ignorance — then we will be religious and we will put them on the path of religion. Children are innocent: leave them not your so-called knowledge. But you yourself must first be innocent, unlying, true.
- p. 13
- The so-called mahatmas and saints are all cowards. I have never come across a single mahatma—Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Buddhist—who can be said to be really a rebellious spirit. Unless one is rebellious, one is not religious. Rebellion is the very foundation of religion.
- p. 19
My grandfather ... had raised me with absolute freedom, no inhibitions, no suppressions, and no commandments.
Love with freedom—if you have it, you are a king or a queen. That is the real kingdom of God—love with freedom. Love gives you the roots into the earth, and freedom gives you the wings.
- p. 25
Quotes about Rajneesh/Osho
- Never born, Never died: only visited this planet earth between December 11, 1931 and, January 19, 1990.
- Epitaph, as quoted in Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins : Laughter in the History of Religion (1997) by Ingvild Sælid Gilhus, p. 143
- Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, given a hero's welcome by his Indian disciples after returning from a U.S. jail, denounced the United States Sunday and said the world must "put the monster America in its place."
"The real enemy is no more the Soviet Union, it is America," said the 53-year-old guru, who returned to New Delhi after pleading guilty to violating U.S. immigration laws by arranging sham marriages so his followers could stay in the U.S.
In his first press conference since he was arrested last month in Charlotte, N.C., Rajneesh declared, "Either America must be hushed up or America will be the end of the world."
- Quotes from an Associated Press report on Rajneesh return to India from the United States on 17 November 1985, published as "World must put U.S. 'monster' in its place, guru says" in the Chicago Tribune (18 November 1985), p. 5
- Reading his discourses made me realize that Rajneesh was a sad loss. He had an extraordinary range of knowledge and a vision of how life should be lived, but he proved incapable of following his own precepts.
- Anthony Storr, Feet of Clay; Saints, Sinners, and Madmen: A Study of Gurus (New York: Free Press Paperbacks, 1997), p. 63