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Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain

Chandra Mohan, also called OSHO and ACHARYA RAJNEESH, original name CHANDRA MOHAN JAIN (b. Dec. 11, 1931, central India — d. Jan. 19, 1990, Pune, India), Indian spiritual leader who preached an eclectic doctrine of Eastern mysticism, individual devotion, and sexual freedom while amassing vast personal wealth.

He taught philosophy at Jabalpur University, where he received his B.A. degree (1955); he also attended the University of Saugar (M.A., 1957). He acquired the nickname Rajneesh and took the honorific Bhagwan (Hindi: ‘god’). After lecturing throughout India, he established an ashram (spiritual community) in Pune (Poona). By the early 1970s his charismatic style and his emphasis on spiritual freedom and sexual experimentation had attracted 200,000 devotees, many from Europe and the United States.

In 1981 Rajneesh’s cult purchased a dilapidated ranch in Oregon, U.S., which became the site of Rajneeshpuram, a community of several thousand orange-robed disciples. Rajneesh was widely criticized by outsiders for his private security force and his ostentatious display of wealth.

By 1985 many of his most trusted aides had abandoned the movement, which was under investigation for multiple felonies including arson, attempted murder, drug smuggling, and vote fraud in the nearby town of Antelope. In 1985 Rajneesh pleaded guilty to immigration fraud and was deported from the United States. He was refused entry by 21 countries before returning to Pune, where his ashram soon grew to 15,000 members. In later years he took the Buddhist title Osho and altered his teaching on unrestricted sexual activity because of his growing concern over AIDS. ... Encyclopaedia Britannica

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