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OSHO is a Hindu meditation group founded by the late Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

In 1988 thirty years after taking the title, ”Bhagwan,” (which means ”the embodiment of God”) Rajneesh admitted the title and his claim to be God were a ”joke.” ”I hate the word… I don’t want to be called Bhagwan (God) again. Enough is enough. The joke is over,” stated Rajneesh saying he was really the reincarnation of Buddha and claiming for himself the new title of ”Rajneesh Gautaman the Buddha,” (Star Telegram, Dec. 29, 1988; Sec.1, p. 3). Later he took the title, ”Osho Rajneesh,” a Buddhist term meaning ”on whom the heavens shower flowers.” (Ibid, 1/20/90).
– Source: Guru Rajneesh Dead at 58, Watchman Expositor, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1990

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With Bhagwan’s name change, his religious movement also took on the name OSHO.

Osho devotees are also called ‘sanyassins,’ and are often referred to as the ‘Orange People,’ due to their habit of dressing in clothes clothes.

Ever wonder what ever happened to the guy whose religious followers were linked to the only episode of domestic mass bioterrorism in America? Well, in the case of the late, notorious Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, old renegade sex gurus never die. He just “left his body” somewhere in India in 1990 and later emerged as a thriving, modern-day publishing machine known as Osho.

Rajneesh’s flock caught much of his meditative bon mots on tape, and now incessantly recycle these ponderings as spiritual wisdom under the author name of Osho. This Osho has now generated an impressively diversified empire of books, video tapes, television shows, corporate seminars (via Osho “trainees”) and even a 34-acre luxury spa in Pune, India. With more than a dozen titles published and still going strong, his worldwide book and audio book sales now surpass $1 million annually. Due out in mid-November from the ever-prolific (albeit, technically dead) Osho: Three new titles from St. Martin’s Griffin — “Creativity,” “Courage” and “Maturity,” all priced at $11.95 — to mark the 10th anniversary of his death in January. And in May 2000, a new “autobiography” with the working title “Osho: The Autobiography of the Spiritually Incorrect Mystic.”

To date, the published works of Osho have left readers with little clues as to his former identity. So consumers may not know that they’re actually plunking down their cash for rehashed ramblings from the late Rajneesh, the controversy-plagued spiritual leader kicked out of the United States after his legal woes heated up in the mid-1980s. Rajneesh made headlines with a lifestyle that included a convoy of more than 90 Rolls-Royces, flashy jewelry and enough hedonistic pursuits to earn him the title “world’s most famous sex guru.”

Rajneesh and his followers settled on a 65,000-acre ranch near Antelope, Ore., wrestled political control from town office holders and renamed Antelope “Rajneeshpuram.” But they were essentially the sect that couldn’t shoot straight. During a conflict with Oregon authorities, the followers were accused of arson and attempted murder. In perhaps the most notorious incident, some members of the Rajneesh crew were linked to a 1984 case in which salmonella bacteria was sprinkled on the contents of local restaurant salad bars and sickened 750 people. Rajneesh was deported on immigration fraud charges and died in Pune on Jan. 19, 1990.

However, Rajneesh lives on with an estimated 5,000 of his lectures now marketed as Osho tapes and books.
– Source: Dennis McCafferty, Old Bhagwan, new bottles, Salon, Oct. 20, 1999

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First published (or major update) on Thursday, April 12, 2007.
Last updated on April 12, 2007.

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