A selection of portrait photos taken by late photographer, Dinubhai M Rawal. His son Bipinbhai remembers events he had heard from his father – as told to Anuragi.
Dinubhai, my father, started taking photos of Osho (then still known as Acharya Rajneesh) in 1967. From then on, whenever he attended Osho’s meditation camps he took his camera with him. He was a photographer by trade and owned a studio in Rajkot, Gujarat. (He established the studio in 1959. It was in a good location in town and still exists today, and now I run it). My father then joined a group of five or six people to help organise Osho’s camps in Rajkot, Abu, Junagadh, Dwarka, and surrounding areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
In 1964, Dinubhai along with his friends, Lalji Bhai Desai, Janardhan Trivedi, Dhirubhai Dave, and Beatles*, visited Osho in Jabalpur. When they entered the house, Osho was playing the sitar – and later they all had dinner together.
Three years after that, Dinu (as Osho used to call him) travelled to Mumbai with friends, to discuss with Osho the dates for the October and November meditation camps in Rajkot. After the meeting they booked the Rashtriya Shala Hall for a 3-day camp (in those days Osho gave discourses to huge masses), and the Lal Bahadur Shastri School for the second camp. And a big bungalow for Osho.
My father built the stage in the 5000-seater Rashtriya Shala Central Hall all by himself, and arranged the lightning, much to Osho’s approval, who even called him up onto the stage to tell him so. He said he appreciated the soft lights he had used. I was 16 years old and my friends and I volunteered at the camp. That was where I took my first photograph of Osho.
In 1972 Dinubhai attended the meditation camp in Manali, and took the group photos of the new sannyasins. After coming back from the Manali camp he opened another photography studio, called Manali Studio – that studio ran for 45 years.
Dinu painted many portraits of Osho over the years and in 1974 took them to Pune. [There had also been an exhibition in Manali in 1970 where sannyasins had bought paintings, ed.] Osho was allergic to smells so my father was not allowed to bring them in to show him. But when Osho heard he had brought the paintings and they were being exhibited in the ashram, he came to see them at the inauguration. I remember my father telling me that Osho commented on how well made they were, each had their own uniqueness. All the paintings were auctioned in Poona – this is why there is no record of them with the family.
* Beatles was one of the KK Brothers, an old family perfume business. Osho gave him the name Beatles because he looked like one of the members of the Beatles, the famous English rock band, and had a similar personality. Osho gave Beatles the sannyas name Swami Anand Christ on 3rd May 1971. More about him soon…
Credit for this article goes to Bipinbhai (Sw Divine Akhlank), his wife, Dhyan Anjali, and Anuragi who recorded the stories and scanned the photographs – retouching by Osho News
Update 15 May 2019: additions from editor