CC (aka Christ Chaitanya)


… left his body on 26th March 2013, around 4am.

Christ Chaitanya and Lynnea

Christ Chaitanya (or better known as C.C.) is remembered from the commune days of Pune 1 for being the meditation leader. Also in our memory we see the picture of him wearing lunghis, long hair, a beard and always a big smile on his face. Was it because he had just been telling someone a joke?

Just last week we heard the news from his beloved Lynnea (seen with him in the picture above), that he was unwell. “He wanted to be quiet about his illness and, of course, hoped for a return to good health. It has come on quickly although, to him, it seems like a long time.”

Christ Chaitanya was born on September 12, 1947. He grew up in Brockton, MA, where his father was a judge. His dad died around the time he graduated from Penn State, and with the money he inherited, he began traveling, eventually ending up in Bombay where he was one of Osho’s first American sannyasins. A small group of sannyasins was called into Osho’s room one day where they were told that it was time to return home and introduce people there to him. When everyone but Chaitanya was given a specific task to do, someone asked Osho, “What about Chaitanya?” Osho replied, “Chaitanya is to be ME in American!!”

He returned to the United States and with several other sannyasins ran a small meditation center in Upstate New York. He also began teaching Dynamic Meditation at the Ansonia Hotel in NYC, where many hundreds of people were first introduced to Osho, a significant number taking sannyas before going to Bombay to meet Osho. Chaitanya would initiate these people into sannyas, giving them a name from one of the initiation-name papers Osho had inscribed and given to him for this purpose.

When Chaitanya returned to India with his partner, Satya Bharti (whom he’d initiated into sannyas several months earlier at a meditation camp he ran at the Upstate New York center), Osho told them to return to NYC and open up a center for him there. They ran the NYC center for two years, commuting between India and NYC; later they were instructed by Osho to travel around the US (and Canada) and run meditation camps at growth centers, introducing more people to him. Scores of camp participants went to India to be with Osho who had moved to Poona by this time. In June 1975, Chaitanya (and Satya) moved to the Poona ashram permanently, Chaitanya becoming the meditation master and editor of the Rajneesh Newsletter, jobs he continued doing until the end of Poona 1. During the last years of Poona 1, Chaitanya lived in Osho’s house.

After leaving India, he lived at the Geetam Meditation Center in California for a while before finally moving to the Ranch where, among other things, he was in the Peace Force.

CC’s memorial will be held on Sunday, 7th April, 10:30am PST. To be in tune with the celebration you can listen to CC’s talk he gave at a funeral of a friend’s daughter who had been killed in an auto accident:


Last Will and Testament of
C.C. Raphael
September 12, 1947 – March 26, 2013

I bequeath to my friends and family, my most valuable possession… humor. And just in case you don’t recognize humor, I have enclosed an example of my humor – a joke!

Two politicians were discussing the decline of morals in the 21st century.

“I didn’t sleep with my wife before I was married,” one Senator said righteously. “Did you?”

“I don’t know,” said the other, “what was her maiden name?”

May you always remember that “Seriousness is a Disease.” Your lightheartedness, your compassion, and your love will prevail. I hope I have helped remind you to “Shine on.”


You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote to be published on Osho News using our contact form (pls add ‘CC’ in the subject field)…

Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy! Vey!
He passed over on passover.

Ciao Chaitanya, your presence is still shining next to the tape recorder in Buddha Hall. Time for Kundalini, Dynamic and now for the greatest journey of all!! I love you,

Perhaps your best remembered one-liner in Pune One, for me, CC, was when you commented on the new range of sannyas scentless cleansing products that went on sale in the boutique around 1980 – soaps, shampoos, conditioners…. Osho’s picture was everywhere and on everything, and whatever we made, if it had a label, it had a picture of Osho on it – sans hat in those days. I guess it was at one of the variety shows at No. 70: “You know you’re in a weird place when you can buy a shampoo with a picture of a bald man on it…” Thank you Chaitanya for many good times. May you fly off laughing!

Beloved C.C, so many memories. From 1978 in Poona 1 – after my first Dynamic I went up to him and said, “My God, everybody is so fucked-up, I am sorry for them, they have so much pain and so much anger. I do not feel anything.” His answer was, “Hum, OK, tomorrow it’s OK if you just pretend.” To which I replied, “Ah, OK.” Since that ‘tomorrow’ I have never stopped shouting, crying and laughing! – and then on the Ranch when he was doing channelling…. He then came through Florence and visited Master’s Press. He said to me, “Hum… more is possible!” And life took a BIG leap! And also this other memory from the Ranch: outrageous as he was while being interviewed by a dodo Oregonian journalist, who asked him sarcastically what he did, his answer was, “I masturbate a lot and torture little animals!” Laughing, laughing!

Beloved Chaitanya (CC), one of many fond memories is when I worked at the reception in Poona. You and Chinmaya would come and hang out quite often. You brought a guitar with you and together you guys would sing and play. The favorites were some Buddy Holly songs! ‘Little white dog’ was one of them. I would sing along too. We had such a great time! Thinking of you, beautiful one, and holding you in my heart. I know your journey now is in pure light, with all my love,

Beloved C.C., yes, in my heart sits this cheeky, so funny and deeply sincere fellow traveler Christ Chaitanya. What a magical time in this body we shared at the feet of this wild Master of ours! And then what a mystery what we might share out of the physical. I can only imagine you are simply cracking up. I love you and always love you,

I will always remember – I had just arrived in Poona in the spring of 1980, still digesting the impact of multiple culture shock and the intense energy of the Buddhafield – I hardly knew CC then, except for the fact that he led Dynamic and Kundalini – so, one afternoon we crossed each other in the ashram as I was walking towards the Buddha Hall in my dazed and awkward state of newbie-ness. He stopped and, out of the blue, told me the silliest, totally non-sequitur joke, hugged me and walked away. It made me finally feel ‘at home’….

In Geetam, disoriented and shy, CC took me in his arms and the world was ok again. So easy. So much appreciated. Big heart.

In ’79, CC organized ‘Jewish Night’. The centerpiece of the show was darshan with ‘Bagelman Shree Rajneesh’. CC was hilarious, outrageous, loving, and, in his ability to capture the always comic spirit of Poona One, masterful.
Das Anudas

Beloved CC, Bhagawato and I wish you a smooth voyage through the mysterious beyond. We will never forget your wonderful sense of humor and incredible heart. Your smiling face will remain with us forever. We love you,

After the sadness of your departure passed, I got a strong feeling that this incarnation was extremely successful for you. I am so happy for you, and blessed to have known of you.
Jivan Abhiram

You are deeply in my heart and in so many others. You were the very first sannyasin I ever met, when you and Rabiya picked us up hitch hiking in NY, dressed in orange and mala. We went downtown NYC and did Dynamic Meditation with all these strange people taking off their suits, putting on blindfolds and screaming away. My first taste and the sweetness of that and you still remain with me. You have touched all of our hearts and I imagine you will prepare the meditation hall to greet us all for the ultimate meditation. Fly high, dear Jewish jokester brother.

I remember Christ Chaitanya with so much love and joy… we met as young men in Boston when his brother Larry married my niece RoseAnne. When next we met we both had beards down to the floor in ’75… unrecognizable to the past… it clicked when we heard each other’s’ Boston accent. We screamed in delight and we were reprimanded by Laxmi for disturbing Osho’s rest as he was sleeping in the next room.
Krishna Prem

Ciao C. Chaitanya, high spirit and great sense of humor! Love and… Bon voyage,

I just heard of the passing of our beloved CC. I send love to all those who’s lives had been touched by this beautiful soul. I feel so blessed to have known him during my time on the Ranch.
Love and warmest hugs…..
Adviata Sandra

A whirling dervish of infectious energy in Poona One. A sense of humor never crushed by spiritual correctness. A card player to be reckoned with on the Ranch. So many delightful memories.
Bruce Menzies

The best of the best in the world of sannyasins. Great humor, such a loving heart. I’ll miss you. Go on having fun wherever you are!

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