Osho was born in Kuchwada, M.P. on 11th December 1931. His parents Swami Devateertha Bharti and Ma Amrit Saraswati became his disciples in later years. He was enlightened at the age of 21 years on March 21, 1953, while he was studying philosophy at D.N. Jain College in Jabalpur. In 1956 Osho did M.A. from the University of Sagar with First Class Honors in Philosophy. He joined Sanskrit College, Raipur in 1957.
He was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jabalpur, in 1958, where He taught until 1966. During this period He traveled widely in India speaking to large audiences and challenging orthodox religious leaders in public debates.
After nine years of teaching, He left the university in 1966 for regular spiritual work. He started conducting intense ten-day meditation and Samadhi camps. At times He addressed gatherings of 20000 to 50000 people.
In July 1970, He moved to Mumbai. By this time He came to be known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He started initiating seekers into Neo-Sannyas, which did not involve renouncing the world. This was a great revolutionary step since sannyas in all other traditions requires renunciation.
In 1974 He moved to Poona Ashram, where He gave 90 minutes discourses nearly every morning, alternating every month between
Hindi and English. He spoke on Yoga, Zen, Taoism, Tantra and Sufism covering masters like Gautam Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, and other mystics. These discourses have been collected into over 300 volumes and translated into 20 languages. In the evenings, during these years, He gave Energy darshan and sannyas. And while explaining the sannyas names He unraveled many secrets of divine sound, divine light, and other dimensions of spiritualism. These evening talks are compiled in 64 darshan diaries of which 40 are published.
In March 1981, He moved to the USA, where His disciples raised the city of Rajneeshpuram from the ruins of the central Oregonian high desert. In October 1984 Osho ended His three and half years of self-imposed silence and started speaking to small groups of people. In July 1985 He resumed His public discourses each morning to thousands of seekers gathered in a two-acre meditation hall.
On 14th September 1985, Osho’s personal secretary Sheela and several members of the commune’s management suddenly left after being exposed for their crimes. Osho invited law enforcement officials to investigate Sheela’s crimes. The authorities, however, saw the investigation as a golden opportunity to destroy the commune entirely. But the authorities arrested Osho Himself without warrants, held Him without bail for twelve days, and subsequent events indicate that He was poisoned with the heavy metal thallium while in the jail. Finally, He was fined $400,000 under a compromise deal and was deported from America. Among others, U.S. Attorney in Portland, Charles Turner, publicly conceded that the government was intent on destroying Rajneeshpuram.
During 1985 – 1986 He undertook a World Tour and visited many countries including Nepal, Greece, Uruguay, Jamaica and Portugal. In all, 21 countries denied Him entry or deported Him after arrival. On July 29,1986, He returned to Mumbai, India and shifted to the ashram in Poona, India, in January, 1987. During January-February 1989 He stopped using the name “Bhagwan,” retaining only the name Rajneesh. Later He adopted ‘Osho’ as His new name. On 19th January 1990, Osho left His body saying “I leave you my dream.” Different people interpreted His dream differently. Some started building large structures in His name. Some others considered Him last prophet and started propagating His spoken words. Oshodhara has assumed the responsibility of enhancing His spiritual work by guiding seekers from meditation to samadhi and enlightenment. Very few people know that core teaching of Osho is not the dynamic and other chaotic meditations, which He Himself asked to drop in later years, but is Omkar, like all other sages, Lord Krishna, Mahavir, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Kabir, and Nanak. Osho continues to be controversial even after many years of leaving this planet.