Rajneesh mugshotSheela mugshotRajneesh escorted to jail

The Ridiculous Teachings of Wrong Way Rajneesh

Here are some of the lies, false prophesies, and ridiculous teachings of Chandra Mohan Jain: alias "Acharya Rajneesh," alias "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh," alias "Osho"
     Rajneesh once claimed to have the ability to materialize objects through the power of will, but he said he chose not to use this ability as it represented a "lower state of consciousness."  Rajneesh was a man who conned his own disciples out of millions of dollars, who owned over 90 Rolls-Royce automobiles, who had sex with hundreds of young women half his age, and who ended up taking 60 milligrams of Valium a day and inhaling enough nitrous oxide to inflate a dirigible.  If the exquisitely self-indulgent Rajneesh had the power to materialize gold and diamonds, you can be sure he would have used it.  No human being can materialize matter out of thin air because of the laws of physics, i.e., E=MC2.  Just one ounce of matter contains the equivalent energy of approximately 610,000. tons of TNT (610 kilotons), which is 46.9 times the power of the "Little Boy" atomic bomb (13 kilotons) that destroyed the city Hiroshima in 1945.  No human being has that kind of power.  If the ancient Indian myths that materialization is an attainable mystic power were true, then India would be the richest nation in the world, not one of the poorest.  
     Rajneesh once stated that it was possible to push objects around by will power alone (psychokinesis), and he published an article in his Neo-Sannyas Magazine about how this ability could be demonstrated.  Rajneesh stated that one should take a bowl of water and pour a layer of cooking oil on top of the water, then place a metal pin on top of the oil and the oil would somehow make the metal pin float.  The next step was to concentrate on the pin with your mind and order the pin to move around the bowl like a little motorboat.  The first obvious problem with this experiment is that a metal pin will not float on either water or oil under normal conditions as steel is heavier than both water and oil.  I tried this experiment myself and the pin sinks to the bottom of the bowl immediately.  Adding oil to the water does not help the pin float.  The second and most important problem is that psychokinesis is not possible, and those pretending to have that capability have been exposed as frauds.  Rajneesh never even tried the experiment himself, and this was just another example of him giving false teaching without caring if what he said was true.  For him, it was all about getting attention.

     It the book, Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti, it is stated that when J. Krishnamurti was a young man he went with friends to a casino to see if he could win a fortune by using the power of psychokinesis.  The scheme failed and Krishnamurti lost all of his money.  J. Krishnamurti was regarded by many famous yogis and monks as having the same high level of psychic energy as Rajneesh, yet Krishnamurti failed at moving objects via the power of his mind.  The explanation for this natural limitation of mind/brain is that consciousness evolved to control our bodies, not outside objects.  For moving external objects, nature provided us with arms, hands, legs, and feet. 

Note - Metal pins can be made to float on water under special circumstances, but not under the conditions of Rajneesh's fatally flawed experiment, i.e. ordinary sized steel pin as you get from a new shirt, ordinary cooking oil, and no gimmicks to increase surface tension.  The point is he spoke without ever trying the experiment himself.  A number of organizations and magician James Randi have offered large cash prizes to anyone who can prove the existence of psychokinesis, but there have been no winners.

     Rajneesh once stated that "India does not need high technology."  India today is a world leader in computer programing, and high technology is India's biggest money making industry.  Rajneesh once said that someone should "shoot" Mikael Gorbachev for leading the Soviet Union to capitalism instead of  "spiritual communism."  Rajneesh often had kind words for Adolph Hitler, but he had few positive comments about Mahatma Gandhi, whom he considered too passive to be a good leader.  Rajneesh was no pacifist and often spoke of the beneficial effects of war.
     Rajneesh was an advocate of the ancient Hindu myths of "Tantra," and in a lecture he defended the ancient Tantric practice of parents having sex with their own children.  At his Oregon commune, Rajneesh allowed middle aged men to have sex with prepubescent girls.  Rajneesh used the myths of Tantra to rationalize all of his dishonest and illegal behavior, as well as his own exorbitant drug use.  If he walked out on a hotel bill, cheated a real estate agent out of a commission, or conned you out of your home, it was not theft, it was "Tantra."

     In the early days Rajneesh handed out bad advice on "Tantric sex," such as having intercourse with zero movement and concentrating on the "third eye" (Ajana chakra).  When he started having sex himself he realized his errors and stopped giving out this advice.  Rajneesh failed to understand that he had a responsibility to know what he was talking about before teaching others.  He also did not appreciate that it is unethical for teachers to have sex with their own students, and he used his young female disciples as his own personal harem.  By most accounts, Rajneesh was no great Tantric lover.  One eighteen year old girl told me that Rajneesh lasted for fifteen minutes, while most other reports claim he lasted two minutes or less and that the experience was basic missionary position with little or no foreplay.  Despite Rajneesh's irrational public statements about AIDS, it is reported that he never used a condom.   

     Rajneesh once stated that all wars would end by the year 2000 as the world would become so interdependent that war would be politically unacceptable.  Rajneesh later hired an advertising agency to advise him on how to gain more disciples.  He was told that prophesies of the end of the world sold best.  After hearing that he started to predict worldwide nuclear war and suggested that he and his sannyasins (initiated disciples) could survive in caves and then reemerge to save the world.  Rajneesh claimed that the AIDS epidemic would kill three quarters of the world's population, and he had his disciples spray their hands with alcohol before eating and wear rubber gloves during sex to avoid AIDS transmission.  
     Rajneesh once stated that one could produce a Buddha by having sexual intercourse with a woman for three hours straight, then nine months later out pops a Buddha baby due to the long and blissful copulation.  Rajneesh stated this theory at a time when he had little experience with sex.  In addition to the absurdity of his basic premise, Rajneesh did not understand that if sexual intercourse sessions last too long, women tend to lose vaginal lubrication and men are subject to friction blisters.
     Though his parents were alive and well, Rajneesh was brought up by his grandparents.  Throughout his life, Rajneesh was not only anti-marriage, but also anti-family.  Rajneesh said that the mother was the cause of much neurosis and therefore children were better off living away from their mothers.  At the Rajneeshpuram commune in Oregon, children were brought up in herds, and Rajneesh suggested that it would be better if they did not know the identity of their fathers.  Rajneesh's plan to control world population was that no one should have children for 20 years and after that only through genetic engineering.  Rajneesh forcefully encouraged his disciples to undergo sexual reproduction sterilization procedures.  [LEFT - picture of Rajneesh as a boy]
      In 1971 I gave Rajneesh a crackpot paperback book, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, and two weeks later he used it as the basis for a series of lectures he gave in Bombay.  In the early days, Rajneesh did not publish hard cover books, only pamphlets that contained the transcript of a single lecture.  His first English hardcover book (not a translation from Hindi) was The Silent Explosion, which was a collection of lectures that I hand picked and combined into a single book.  I came up with the title and wrote the introduction for the first edition.  A number of Rajneesh's other early English hardcover books, published at a later date, were ghost written for him by Satya Bharti Franklin, a female disciple from New York City.  Much of Rajneesh's best material came from other authors, as was the theme and title for my favorite lecture, Flight of the Alone to the Alone.  Rajneesh did a excellent job of combining words and information from other authors, which is a common and accepted practice.  The issue I have with his teachings is that he often pretended to have first hand knowledge of facts he obtained second hand, and he taught many things that he knew were false just to gain attention and expand his guru business.  Rajneesh used words to manipulate people, not to tell the truth.
     Rajneesh bragged on many occasions that he had the power of astral projection.  He stated that if you had a powerfully focused mind, all you had to do was say "out" and you were out of your body.  Astral projection first came to my attention while reading one of his early Hindi books that had been translated into English.  Rajneesh spoke of his first out-of-body experience as a young man while meditating in a tree.  He said he looked down and saw his own body lying on the ground near the base of the tree while his soul remained sitting in the tree, still meditating.  Can a bodyless soul sit in a tree?  Along came an Indian woman who touched his forehead and that brought his soul back to his physical body and he opened his eyes.  

     I think the logical genesis of this story is that he simply fell out of the tree and knocked himself unconscious.  When people are knocked out, they often have ultra-vivid, light filled dreams.  Rajneesh must have dreamed that he was still meditating in the tree while in a semiconscious state and then woke up when the woman touched his forehead.

     The problem with astral projection as an explanation is that we know that consciousness requires specific chemicals and sufficient blood pressure to exist.  Even Rajneesh's extra large consciousness was dependent on the glucose and oxygen carried by his bloodstream.  If an immaterial soul creates consciousness, then why would something immaterial need something material, namely glucose and oxygen, to fuel itself?  Chemicals can only bond with other chemicals to release energy, so how could chemicals bond with something immaterial?  Rajneesh took many sleeping pills during his lifetime, and he often became lightheaded upon standing up.  This clearly indicates that his consciousness was dependent on chemistry and blood pressure.  Even his giant consciousness could be altered and reduced by chemical reactions and reduced blood flow.  Rajneesh's consciousness was a physical entity that could not fly through space without need for chemical reactions and the brain's neural-cellular structure. 

     If human beings actually had souls with separable consciousness, ask yourself why would humans need a brain at all?  If your soul can see, think, and move about at will, then why would you need a body?  What would power an astrally projecting soul on its journey through space,...an astral propeller?  How can a soul see without eyes, hear without ears, or navigate through space without a map?  What if an astrally projecting soul got lost?  How would it find its way back to its host body?  The Harry Potter style myth of a silver cord connecting soul to body, reeling in and out like a fishing line, is so fanciful that I won't even bother stating its obvious flaws.  I believe Rajneesh felt he had to lie about astral projection in order to convince the world that he had transcended his body and was no longer governed by the laws of physics and the biological laws of life and death. 

     Rajneesh once said that if he sat down next to a plant, the plant would become so blessed that it would be born as a human being in its next lifetime.  He also stated that you could talk to plants and ask them what medicinal value they have.  Scientists and anthropologists have found that traditional herbal remedies were discovered by accident, or through trial and error experimentation over centuries of experience, not by having conversations with bushes, flowers, and weeds.
     Rajneesh's lifelong teaching was that all human beings have souls which reincarnate from one lifetime to the next, and we are all trapped in a continuous cycle of birth and death until enlightenment sets us free.  He claimed to remember all of his own past lives and that he was once a great Indian guru as well as one of the early Dalai Lamas.  In his last drug dazed years, he suddenly and briefly reversed himself and stated that there was no reincarnation and that the very idea of reincarnation was a "misinterpretation" of other phenomena.  I think his drug taking experiences made him realize that he was just a human brain, as the drugs he indulged in, nitrous oxide and LSD, clearly reveal the neural-cellular nature of consciousness.  Rajneesh thus briefly admitted in essence that his entire life's teaching was false, based on myths and lies, and that he had no first hand experience of souls, reincarnation, ghosts, or "bodyless masters,"...all the attention grabbing headlines of his fairy tale philosophy.  His words were just a regurgitation of ancient myths, books he had read, and his own vivid imagination.  Rajneesh wanted to be known as the greatest teacher since Buddha, and he was willing to lie day after day and year after year to gain that reputation.

     Rajneesh had a problem with keeping his lies and fantasies straight.  In his early years he taught that souls evolved upward and downward.  He said that if you did not meditate, your soul would devolve downward as your spiritual condition degraded.  In later years he declared that souls only evolved upward because "How can you forget what you have learned?"  If you know something as fact you can state it clearly and consistently.  For example, you know where your house is and you can describe to anyone its location and how to get there.  If you don't own a house and you are lying about owning a home, then you can make up directions to a house that does not exist and change those directions as the mood strikes you.  As a con man, you can even sell people houses that don't exist.  That was Rajneesh in a nutshell.

     Ask yourself this question.  What does the average Mafia crime boss or corrupt dictator want most?  The answer is millions of dollars, absolute power, a harem of women, and a daily supply of booze or drugs.  Now ask yourself what did Rajneesh want and get?  The answer is millions of dollars, absolute power, a harem of women, and a daily supply of drugs.  Rajneesh used myths of the occult and his natural ability to influence people to achieve the same goals.  He could look you directly in the eye and lie without flinching, and that helped him become a financially successful guru.  Lies and fantasy sell better than telling the simple truth, so Rajneesh decided to sell spiritual consumers what they wanted to hear. 

     Rajneesh's own words and life history prove that he had no great wisdom, and that he was subnormal in his understanding of science, mathematics, ethics, simple logic, and common sense.  What Rajneesh did have was a tremendous power of presence and the gift of hypnotic oratory.  He fooled himself into equating his own raw consciousness with intelligence and wisdom.  Intelligence and consciousness are not the same thing, and those with the most consciousness are not necessarily the most honest and wise.  Even common street drugs like LSD can induce a kind of distorted state of superconsciousness, and hallucinogenic drug users are not known for great wisdom, balance, and virtue. 

Opinions and Possible Explanations

     It is my unproven theory that Rajneesh's vast consciousness was the result of the unique structure of his unusually large brain, which was created through his DNA code.  If you look at his photos you can easily see how incredibly big his skull was in proportion to the rest of his body.  That skull was filled with an extra large brain, not thin air.  [See picture of Rajneesh's giant skull]

     Magnetic resonance imaging studies (MRI studies) have shown that people with large brains, on average, are more intelligent than humans with smaller brains.  My theory is unrelated to the issue of intelligence, because I do not believe that 'enlightenment' in the Eastern esoteric meaning of the word is intelligence or wisdom at all.  My first hand experience with the enlightened sages is that they have a vastly increased energy output of the consciousness producing realms of the brain.  These areas are not responsible for the thinking and reasoning functions of the brain.  My position is that you can be enlightened and highly intelligent, or you can become fully enlightened with just average intelligence, and you can find examples of both situations.  It is also entirely possible to be very wise and not even be a student of meditation at all.  Consciousness is just a brain function, like memory.  Having a great memory by itself does not make anyone a genius.  Consciousness beyond a certain modest level is nonfunctional, providing humans an experiential thrill by making everything look and feel realer than real, but increased consciousness beyond normal levels does not automatically improve reasoning power, level of honesty, memory, or any other positive virtue associated with healthy brain function. 

     People often become fooled into thinking they are great geniuses because meditation makes them feel marvelous and full of light.  I am pro-meditation because I enjoy feeling good as much as anyone, but I oppose the false teaching that wisdom is possessed only by those who live in a constant state of superconsciousness.  World history backs up the position that yogis, monks, and the famous mystical gurus are not the sole owners of human intelligence, and they are often not very wise at all.

     Bigger brained people may have an edge in the long-shot odds of becoming enlightened because they may possess an expansion of areas of the brain that are directly involved in the creation of consciousness.  Brain imaging of people who meditate regularly has shown increased thickness in cortical regions related to sensory, auditory, visual, and internal perception.  If an individual is born with these portions of their brain naturally enlarged due to their unique DNA structure, it is possible they may be more prone to developing the phenomenon we call enlightenment.       

     The enlightened heroes of Buddhism and Taoism are often depicted in old paintings with extra large skulls and enormous piercing eyes.  The evidence shows that a large skull and brain is far more common in the enlightened elite than in the general population, and this is just one of many indicators that suggests that enlightenment is a physical, DNA based phenomena.  Some of the enlightened, as J. Krishnamurti and Ramakrishna, probably had a form of temporal lobe epilepsy as an aid to their expanded consciousness.  Temporal lobe epilepsy is known to cause hyperreligiosity and mystical experiences. 

     Science has proven that DNA forms the human brain, not some immaterial soul.  Rajneesh, Ramana Maharshi, J. Krishnamurti, and many other sages became enlightened between the ages of 17 and 21, just when their brains and central nervous system became fully developed.  The great spiritual teachers were destined to become enlightened due to their rare DNA, not because of any extraordinary effort at meditation.  Most humans who become full Buddhas become enlightened within 7 years of beginning meditative practice, which is an incredibly short period of time to achieve such a unusual and grand result.  Some Buddhas never even had to practice anything at all; it just happened to them without any apparent cause.

     If you can comprehend that consciousness is a physical attribute that is the result of the formation of complex patterns of brain cells, then you can understand that enlightenment is a mathematically predictable probability.  For example, there are tall people, short people, geniuses and fools.  There are people with unusually accurate eyesight and supersensitive hearing, and there are people who are blind and deaf.  The vast majority of humans need anywhere from five to ten hours of sleep at night to survive, but a tiny percentage of humans have just the right genetic code that allows them to live healthfully without any sleep at all.  They stay up all night long, awake and alert, every night of their lives and they feel fine and are physically healthy.  Human beings are subject to a wide range of genetic expression and capabilities.  Consciousness is a brain function, and thus the mathematics of the grand genetics crap shoot demands that a tiny percentage of the population will have just the right DNA code structure to produce a continuous state of superconsciousness.  All human beings are capable of superconsciousness given the right conditions, so the fact that some humans are born destined to live continuously in an expanded state of consciousness should not be a surprise.  

     Meditation techniques do work, and with effort average individuals can push themselves ahead in consciousness to the equivalent of 10%, 20%, or even 30% of a fully enlightened state.  Consciousness comes in degrees of intensity and fullness, and it is far better to be 30% enlightened than not enlightened at all.  Tibetan Buddhists take 4 and 5 year old boys and stick them into monasteries in order to grow their brains to become enlightened monks like so many hothouse tomatoes.  This strategy works to some degree due to the neuroplastic nature of the brain.  If you start early enough, while the central nervous system is still forming, you can grow the brain to function in a way that is conducive to meditation, but not much else.  There is a trade off in loss of practical brain function when you devote your entire life to the vegetative state of meditation.  Meditation is a passive and vegetative flowering of brain function, thus no society can afford to have more than a small percentage of its young men turned into celibate monks.  This was part of the reason the Chinese had such an easy time when they leisurely waltzed into Tibet in 1950.  Tibetans had dedicated too much of their cultural energy to their religion to survive in a hostile world.

     Our brains change and adapt with our behavior.  If you meditate day after day, year after year, your meditation becomes easier and more powerful as your brain structure changes itself to accommodate your lifestyle.  This is what is meant by the term 'neuroplasticity.'  Tibet has produced many semi-Buddhas through the wholesale grooming of children to become Buddhist monks, but India has always been the powerhouse for producing full Buddhas, not just half Buddhas or near Buddhas.  Indian sages are almost always lone individuals who are born destined to become enlightened.  They are not part of any theocracy or army of monks, and they usually become enlightened completely alone.  Their enlightenment does not come from virtue or past life experience, but from the Indian brain structure which is the most suited to the superconscious state.  History shows that the genetic oddity of enlightenment is most prevalent in India males, and this is a mystery scientists should explore.  Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese monks have practiced meditation for centuries, but on average they have had to work twice as hard to achieve half the results.  In the West, aside from George Gurdjieff, full dramatic enlightenment is almost in total absence.  To date, the West has produced many great scientists, philosophers, artists, and scholars, but very few living Buddhas.  [See picture of George Gurdjieff's giant skullIt is clear that the vast majority of religious heroes the world has deemed enlightened have at least one of three genetically created characteristics: 1) They are Indian; 2) They have an abnormally large skull and brain; 3) They have a history of epilepsy.

     The human brain is literally an electronic device, constructed by nature in a mammal's womb, not in a factory.  The great myths of spirituality may vanish in the coming centuries as the fascinating new science of what I call brain electrics is born.  Our brains are capable of displaying the most incredible light show, which we call superconsciousness.  The brain can be studied, mapped, and understood.  The realms of the occult and mysticism are a misinterpretation of brain phenomena that all humans experience to one degree or another at different times in our lives, either spontaneously, through the practice of meditation techniques, or through the use of psychoactive drugs.  It's all in the brain, and none of us know any world outside of the human brain because that is what we are.

Christopher Calder         Note* Christopher Calder's website no longer exists.  His essays are archived here. 

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Note  Opinions expressed on this page must be viewed as the ideas of an ordinary student of meditation.  While I truly believe everything I say, you should not believe anything unless you see it, feel it, and know it for yourself.  I make no claims of infallibility.  In fact, I absolutely claim fallibility.  Also, this author suffers from dyslexia.  If you find any spelling or punctuation mistakes in any of my essays, please let me know.