Osho or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was born in 1931 in Central India.... He was a oshocharismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement. It is said that at the age of 21 he attained enlightenment or Samadhi. At the time he was studying philosophy at the University of Saugar. On receiving a masters degree he taught philosophy at the University of Jabalpur for nine years.
As well as teaching philosophy he also began to attract disciples to follow his own eclectic mix of philosophy and religion. In 1966 he decided to leave his teaching post and give full attention to his role as spiritual Master. In 1974 he moved with his disciples to Pune, India. Here he established a new ashram in a comfortable setting of 6 acres. In 1980 he was attacked by a Hindu fundamentalist who disagreed with Osho’s unconventional stance on religion and spirituality. It is said that due to police incompetence the assailant was never convicted.
Osho was born into a Jain family. He though never believed in any one religion but combined elements of many religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. However he also added new types of meditation practise. His philosophy was a type of Monism that God was in everything. All human beings were in essence divine, it was just that there were different manifestations of that divinity. He introduced a new type of meditation that involved letting go of all attachments to the past and future and ego.
If a seeker could attain a consciousness where there was "no past, no future, no attachment, no mind, no ego, no self.” Then he would attain enlightenment. One different practise he advocated was to practise physical exercise just before meditation. Unlike many Indian gurus Osho taught that sex was not an obstacle to spiritual progress. Although many of his disciples led fairly simple and frugal lifestyles Osho was well known for his love of cars. It is said he amassed over 20 Rolls Royces.
It is estimated over 50,000 Westerners spent time seeking enlightenment with the Guru. At its peak there were over 200,000 members world wide, although this dropped off after the scandals of the late 1980s. Osho never wised to appoint a successor but he did appoint 21 followers to administer the Osho foundation which continues to provide an outlet for the dissemination of his teaching.