GURU RATING: 2 / 5 (QUESTIONABLE)
Swami Rajneesh is a guru who began his spiritual path as an Osho disciple (sannyasin). He rose to prominence after his book Tears of the Mystic Rose was published freely online.
In it he describes his love affair with his Master as well as the trials and tribulations of being on the path. The book also includes his spiritual enlightenment story. It’s quite an entertaining read. It even includes cameos by Buddha and other notable beings.
His former followers have claimed the guru engaged in sexual abuse, theft and possibly even murder!
A modern guru
Rajneesh holds satsangs (gatherings for spiritual discourse) as Osho did, but he’s also dipped his feet into the modern world by incorporating dance and electronic music.
His approach is perhaps a fusion of the old and the new. This is a great way to reach the younger generation.
The dancing is somewhat akin to the the active portion of the Dynamic Meditation method pioneered by Osho.
Rajneesh has used donations from his disciples to build a luxury resort in Mexico. It provides accommodation for some of his students and also hosts large gatherings, such as music festivals.
While his take on Osho’s teachings is fresh and enlivening, one can argue that he has not reached the heights of his Master. Can a tree growing under the shade of a greater tree ever do so?
One gets the sense that at his core, Rajneesh is more of an artist than an intellectual, which is very much in contrast with his own guru. People looking for Osho will be disappointed. Those open to something new may find what they are looking for.
“…watching silently, no thoughts with no judgements, simply watching, the knack of watchfulness grows stronger, and this separates you from attachment, from identification with the i.” — Rajneesh Ozen